"The consolidation phase itself is neutral, but we think a breakout is more likely than a breakdown," Katie Stockton, founder and managing partner of Fairlead Strategies, said in a research note published on Monday. "Intermediate-term momentum has been improving based on the MACD histogram."
Bitcoin has been trading between $30,000 and $40,000 since late May. The price range has narrowed further in the past two weeks, with bulls unwilling to send prices above $36,000 and sellers refusing to step in below $32,000.
A big move looks overdue and could be bullish, as the weekly chart MACD histogram, an indicator used to gauge trend strength and trend changes, has turned higher, having bottomed out in mid-June.
The consecutive shallow bars below the zero line indicate seller exhaustion.
The stochastic indicator continues to indicate oversold conditions with a below-20 print. "Intermediate-term oversold conditions have generated stabilization above $30,000, which has proven to be strong support for bitcoin," Stockton said.
According to Stockton, the expected breakout would be confirmed on consecutive daily UTC closes above the 50-day simple moving average (SMA) at $35,500. That would open the doors to the next resistance level, near $44,000.
The 50-day SMA is one of the most widely-tracked technical lines. Stockton mentioned it as the level to defend for the bulls back in April, when prices were trading well above average. The SMA support was breached on April 20 and was followed by a sell-off in May.
At press time, bitcoin is trading little changed on the day near $33,200. A break below the long-held support at $30,000 could invite chart-driven sellers. However, Stockton sees a low probability of a range breakdown.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.