When I worked at Merrill Lynch as a junior bond trader in the early 90's, I had a boss who was, without doubt, the best trader in the firm, and went on to become one of the best traders in the world at that time (in my humble opinion).
Back then, he was the most intense guy I had ever met in my life and was extremely demanding and unnerving to work for but, he was also principled, extremely fair and the best mentor one could have ever asked for if you wanted to learn how to really manage risk in the capital markets. I wouldn't have traded working for him for anything.
One day, when I must have felt extremely confident in my view of the market and was on a hot streak trading up a storm, I remember said boss saying to me, "look at you - all coiled up like a cobra and ready to bite the a$$ off of a bear". Words I will not forget.
Coiled up like a cobra is what the Dow is right now. Ready for a breakout:
What we are looking at on the Dow is really the past three months on this six month chart.
We can draw a line (white on the top) from the late January high and move it down to the right. As you can see, the highs seem to hit that white line with amazing consistency. You will also note that each time the highs hit the white line, the highs were not as high (lower highs) creating that downward sloping white line.
On the bottom, we can see a red line (horizontal) that joins up the lows over the past couple of months.
Also on the bottom, you will see the 200 day moving average in blue which seems to have acted as a support level at least over the past couple of weeks.
I am not much of a "technician" or "chartist" but I think those folks call these types of formations "flags" or "pennants" or something like that. To be honest, I have no idea what it is called technically but I do know that the market is coiled up like a cobra and poised for a breakout. Jesse Livermore (Reminiscences of a Stock Operator) would wait in this range and do nothing but then buy the market if it breaks out of this formation to the upside and sell it short or at least sell some long positions if it breaks to the downside.
Watch and wait..then pounce.