I'm taking you back to the seventies (1974 low) in the first $SPX chart (S&P 500 Index). I drew important trend lines and added the 50 and 200 month moving averages to both charts. The second chart shows the 2000-2010 chop-fest. Writeup pending..
*Writeup 9/14/2010: On the first $SPX log chart, I drew a trend line that hit the 1974 low, 1982 recession low and almost the March 2009 low. The S&P/Trend Line spread widened significantly during the late eighties and early nineties, but tightened when the tech bubble burst. Today, after rallying 80% from the March 2009 low and correcting a bit, market participants have to decide if we're experiencing a 2004 redux (see chart 2) or in a 100 year structural change. If we're in a 2004 redux, the S&P must break above the 50 month moving average. All throughout 2004, $SPX was above and below that level and eventually found support.
As you can see from chart 1, the S&P is trading above the 200 month moving average and below the 50 month moving average. What we don't want to see is the 50 month cross the 200 month to the downside. It would either put overhead pressure on the S&P or aggressively price it in before it occurred (imho). You can't see it, but I bet the 50 month crossed the 200 month to the upside in the early eighties, which sparked the 20-25 year rally. I'm saying this now because the moving averages haven't been this close since that time period.