Prominent market technician Ralph Acampora says Wall Street needs to put in fresh highs for him to be confidently bullish about the outlook for stocks, after a whipsawing period for the major indexes. But it isn’t entirely clear that investors will see records in the immediate term, he said.

“What we need obviously is new highs,” Acampora, director of technical research for Altaira Capital Partners, told MarketWatch in a phone interview. “Do I see new highs anytime soon? No.”

A pioneer in the field of chart-based market analysis, Acampora said the market remains mostly healthy but remains fragile amid clashes between the U.S. and its international trading counterparts, including China.

On Thursday, equity indexes were staging a mini rally that was helping to repair at least some of the damage that had been done to the S&P 500 index

SPX, +0.91%

the Nasdaq Composite

COMP, +0.93%

 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.87%

over the past week and a half, following President Donald Trump’s May 5 declaration that he intended on letting tariffs on some $200 billion in China goods rise to 25% from 10%, eliciting a retaliatory response from Beijing.

Back in November, Acampora accurately declared that the destruction of the stock market’s updraft in the fall of 2018 was “much, much worse” than Wall Street was articulating.

Not too long after that comment from Acampora, who is sometimes referred to as the “godfather” of chart analysis, stocks suffered their worst plunge on the trading day before Christmas.

Acampora said that stock indexes also need to show their ability to defend those Dec. 24 lows, which he would view as a healthy development, going forward, though he isn’t predicting that stocks will head back to those lows.

The market analyst says the energy sector

XLE, +0.70%


XLF, +1.05%

and internet-related technology stocks

XLC, +0.88%

XLK, +0.93%

 would be solid investments meanwhile.

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