As a generally nondirectional trader who sells premium, the particular direction an instrument is going is not of great interest to me the vast majority of the time. However, when you've put on various trades that have both and elements (short strangles/iron condors) and your short call sides are hurting because we've experienced a more than 1 standard deviation move for the setup you put on four weeks ago, well, you suddenly become somewhat intensely interested in market direction and wonder when you're going to get some relief to the downside either to exit your the short call positions that are hanging out there now or to add short put positions on market weakness.
Although most traders posit the question of market direction by asking, "Is this going to go higher?", the better question really is "Has the current trend been broken yet?" (assuming that you can easily identify one; if you can't identify one in the S&P since about Valentine's Day, well, there's simply no helping you). To me, the answer is simple: "No, it hasn't," at least if the 4H is telling the truth about price action since 2/14.
I make this determination very simply, using two exponential moving averages and nothing else: an 8 and a 34 . The circled area on the chart marks the beginning of the trend change; there have been no similar crosses since that time (although we were "teased" a couple of times on 2/24 and 2/29 (green arrows) when price broke below both EMA's before continuing on its merry way).
Were that cross to be unfolding in real time, I would begin to consider going long after the cross and "something extra." Usually, the "something extra" for me is a break of horizontal support or resistance such as that indicated in red here.
Unfortunately for bears, we have no cross or break of significant resistance yet (1971 perhaps?), and until then the "Valentine's Day" rally remains in intact for me.
Naturally, this begs the question of whether I would continue to "go long" here (were that to be my trading style; it isn't), since the trend remains intact. My answer would probably be "no," as I generally like to get in at the beginning of trends and not at the possible end of them. There is after all, close resistance overhead if this 2000 pych level isn't "it."
Only the coming days will tell ... .