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The S&P 500 is on track to post its best month since January. But most of those gains came in the first half of the month. Since July 17, the index has essentially traded sideways, closing within a narrow range of 1681-1696.

You can see this in the chart below:

There are some theories behind this sideways move. One is that stocks are just hitting technical resistance at the 1700 level, and it's only a matter of time before they break out and move higher. Another reason could be Fed taper fears bubbling back up. Fundamentalists will point to a sluggish earnings season and investors waking up to the realization that those rosy second half growth expectations likely won't materialize.

So what do you think is behind the recent sideways move?

A. Technical Resistance: stocks are just consolidating/taking a breather before breaking out to new highs
B. Earnings: this earnings season hasn't been strong enough and/or investors are becoming skeptical about second half growth projections
C. Taper Fears: investors expect the Fed to taper soon, and that has taken some air out of the rally
D. Something Else.

Please post your response below.

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