Charting a bullish technical tilt, S&P 500 extends break atop 4,000 mark

Technically speaking, the major U.S. benchmarks have taken flight to start April, rising amid statistically unusual bullish momentum. In the process, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have knifed to record highs, while the Nasdaq Composite has staged a potentially consequential trendline breakout.

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Before detailing the U.S. markets’ wider view, the S&P 500’s
SPX,
+0.10%
 hourly chart highlights the past two weeks. As illustrated, the S&P has taken flight, extending a break atop the 4,000 mark. The prevailing upturn has effectively tagged an intermediate-term target (4,085) detailed previously. (Tuesday’s early session high (4,086) has registered nearby.) Tactically, gap support (4,020) is followed by the firmer breakout point (3,983).

Similarly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.12%
 has knifed to record territory. The prevailing upturn punctuates a bull flag — the tight three-session range — also illustrated on the daily chart. Tactically, the breakout point (33,227) closely matches the top of the gap (33,222), an area that pivots to support.

Against this backdrop, the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.34%
has extended a rally atop the 50-day moving average. The breakout places the January peak (13,729) under siege, an area better illustrated below.

Widening the view to six months adds perspective. On this wider view, the Nasdaq has knifed to six-week highs, extending a sharp break atop trendline resistance. Additional overhead matching the January peak (13,729) is currently under siege. Slightly more broadly, the prevailing upturn punctuates an extended test of major support matching the 2020 peak (12,973). The successful retest preserves a bullish intermediate-term bias.

Looking elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to outperform. As illustrated, the index has spiked to all-time highs, rising from a flag pattern underpinned by the 33,000 area. (Also see the hourly chart.) More broadly, the prevailing upturn originates from a successful March retest of the breakout point (32,009). Bullish price action.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has also taken flight, knifing atop the 4,000 mark for the first time on record. The prevailing upturn punctuates a successful March retest of the 50-day moving average. The bigger picture As detailed above, the major U.S. benchmarks have registered decisive April breakouts. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have knifed to all-time highs, while the Nasdaq Composite has staged a sharp trendline breakout. Notably, the April spike has registered as statistically unusual, with each big three benchmark closing atop its 20-day Bollinger bands. Each index is vying Tuesday for the more reliably bullish consecutive closes atop the bands. (As always, closes atop the Bollinger bands signal an unusually strong two standard deviation breakout.)

Moving to the small-caps, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF
IWM,
+0.38%
 has rallied less aggressively from the March low. Still, the prevailing upturn places it back atop the 50-day moving average, and within striking distance of record highs.

Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF
MDY,
+0.43%
 remains incrementally stronger. Technically, the mid-cap benchmark has extended a rally atop its former breakout point (Feb. peak), rising to challenge record territory.

Looking elsewhere, the SPDR Trust S&P 500
SPY,
+0.11%
 has knifed to uncharted territory. The prevailing upturn originates from a March test of the 50-day moving average.

Placing a finer point on the S&P 500, the index has extended a break atop the 4,000 mark. In the process, the index has swiftly reached its intermediate-term target (4,085) detailed previously. (Tuesday’s early session high (4,086) has registered nearby.)

More broadly, the S&P 500 has staged a decisive 2.4% April breakout, confirming its primary uptrend. Against this backdrop, the S&P is vying Tuesday to register an unusual second straight close atop its 20-day volatility bands. As always, consecutive closes atop the bands signal a tension between time horizons. Though near-term extended, and due to consolidate, bullish momentum has registered as extreme, likely laying the groundwork for longer-term gains. (See the early-January break atop the bands, subsequent sideways price action, and upside follow-through.) Beyond the details, the S&P 500’s strong second-quarter start is constructive. All technical trends continue to point higher. Also see: Charting the S&P 500’s approach of the 4,000 mark.Tuesday’s Watch List The charts below detail names that are technically well positioned. These are radar screen names — sectors or stocks poised to move in the near term. For the original comments on the stocks below, see The Technical Indicator Library.

Drilling down further, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
XLP,
+0.62%
 is acting well technically. (Yield = 2.5%.) As illustrated, the group has sustained a recent break to record territory. The prevailing upturn builds on the March rally atop trendline resistance closely tracking the 50-day moving average. (The 50-day’s slope has recently ticked higher, also consistent with a trend shift.) Tactically, the breakout point (68.00) is followed by the post-breakout low (67.55). The prevailing rally attempt is firmly intact barring a violation. (Also see the March 25 review.)

Moving to specific names, VMware, Inc.
VMW,
-0.78%
 is a well positioned large-cap cloud-infrastructure name. Late last month, the shares knifed to five-month highs, rising from an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern defined by the December, January and March lows. The subsequent flag-like pattern has formed amid decreased volume, positioning the shares to build on the initial spike. Tactically, a sustained posture atop the breakout point (149.90) signals a firmly-bullish bias.

Autodesk, Inc.
ADSK,
-0.24%
 is a large-cap software vendor showing signs of life. As illustrated, the shares are challenging trendline resistance roughly tracking the 50-day moving average. The prevailing upturn punctuates a March retest of the 200-day moving average. Tactically, the former range top (275.00) pivots to support. A breakout attempt is in play barring a violation.

Initially profiled March 10, Southwest Airlines Co.
LUV,
+1.65%
 has added 6.9% and remains well positioned. Technically, the shares have rallied to three-year highs, clearing resistance matching the March peak. A near-term target projects to the 68 area. Conversely, the breakout point (62.20) closely matches the top of the gap and is followed by a near-term floor, circa 60.70. A sustained posture atop this area signals a bullish bias.

Finally, Dollar Tree, Inc
DLTR,
-1.18%
 is a well positioned large-cap discount retailer. As illustrated, the shares have knifed to 52-week highs, clearing resistance matching the December and January peaks. The upturn punctuates a late-March flag pattern. Though near-term extended, and due to consolidate, the shares are attractive on a pullback. Initial support, circa 116.00, is followed by the firmer breakout point (114.75). More broadly, the shares are well positioned on the 10-year chart, challenging major resistance matching the 2018 and 2019 peaks. Still well positioned The table below includes names recently profiled in The Technical Indicator that remain well positioned. For the original comments, see The Technical Indicator Library.
Company

Symbol* (Click symbol for chart.)

Date Profiled

Qorvo, Inc.

QRVO

Apr. 5

Hess Corp.

HES

Apr. 5

Sunnova Energy International, Inc.

NOVA

Apr. 1

VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF

SMH

Apr. 1

Lam Research Corp.

LRCX

Apr. 1

NetApp, Inc.

NTAP

Apr. 1

FedEx Corp.

FDX

Mar. 31

Air Products & Chemicals, Inc.

APD

Mar. 31

Vericel Corp.

VCEL

Mar. 31

U.S. Steel Corp.

X

Mar. 31

F5 Networks, Inc.

FFIV

Mar. 30

Ternium S.A.

TX

Mar. 30

Target Corp.

TGT

Mar. 30

Texas Instruments, Inc.

TXN

Mar. 29

NXP Semiconductors N.V.

NXPI

Mar. 29

iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF

IYR

Mar. 29

Coca-Cola Co.

KO

Mar. 29

Home Depot, Inc.

HD

Mar. 26

Ferrari N.V.

RACE

Mar. 26

Funko Inc

FNKO

Mar. 26

Cisco Systems, Inc.

CSCO

Mar. 25

Steel Dynamics, Inc.

STLD

Mar. 25

Procter & Gamble Co.

PG

Mar. 25

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR

XLP

Mar. 25

iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF

ITB

Mar. 23

Lennar Corp.

LEN

Mar. 23

Jabil Circuit, Inc.

JBL

Mar. 23

Dish Network Corp.

DISH

Mar. 23

UnitedHealth Group, Inc.

UNH

Mar. 22

Shift4 Payments, Inc.

FOUR

Mar. 19

Whirlpool Corp.

WHR

Mar. 19

U.S. Bancorp

USB

Mar. 19

Nasdaq, Inc.

NDAQ

Mar. 18

D.R. Horton, Inc.

DHI

Mar. 18

Facebook, Inc.

FB

Mar. 17

AutoNation, Inc.

AN

Mar. 17

McDonald’s Corp.

MCD

Mar. 16

Virtu Financial, Inc.

VIRT

Mar. 16

Spirit Airlines, Inc.

SAVE

Mar. 16

LKQ Corp.

LKQ

Mar. 15

Anthem, Inc.

ANTM

Mar. 15

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

WBA

Mar. 12

International Paper Co.

IP

Mar. 12

iShares Europe ETF

IEV

Mar. 11

CME Group, Inc.

CME

Mar. 11

3M Co.

MMM

Mar. 11

Southwest Airlines Co.

LUV

Mar. 10

Big Lots, Inc.

BIG

Mar. 9

Alaska Air Group, Inc.

ALK

Mar. 9

State Street Corp.

STT

Mar. 8

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.

AEO

Mar. 8

Hess Corp.

HES

Mar. 3

Beazer Homes USA, Inc.

BZH

Mar. 3

Mastercard, Inc.

MA

Mar. 2

Boeing Co.

BA

Mar. 2

Starbucks Corp.

SBUX

Mar. 1

Eaton Corp.

ETN

Feb. 25

Oracle Corp.

ORCL

Feb. 24

United Airlines Holdings, Inc.

UAL

Feb. 24

Nucor Corp.

NUE

Feb. 23

Signet Jewelers Limited

SIG

Feb. 23

Old Dominion Freight Line

ODFL

Feb. 22

Seagate Technology

STX

Feb. 19

Chevron Corp.

CVX

Feb. 18

Lyft, Inc.

LYFT

Feb. 16

Intel Corp.

INTC

Feb. 12

U.S. Global Jets ETF

JETS

Feb. 9

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

MSI

Feb. 9

KeyCorp

KEY

Feb. 5

Diamondback Energy, Inc.

FANG

Feb. 4

CarMax, Inc.

KMX

Feb. 3

Toll Brothers, Inc.

TOL

Feb. 2

Avis Budget Group, Inc.

CAR

Feb. 1

Capital One Financial Corp.

COF

Jan. 29

Cummins, Inc.

CMI

Jan. 25

Magna International, Inc.

MGA

Jan. 22

M.D.C. Holdings, Inc.

MDC

Jan. 22

Zebra Technologies Corp.

ZBRA

Jan. 14

Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

NXST

Jan. 11

iShares Transportation Average ETF

IYT

Jan. 11

Energy Select Sector SPDR

XLE

Jan. 8

Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

SWKS

Jan. 7

Financial Select Sector SPDR

XLF

Jan. 7

Synaptics, Inc.

SYNA

Jan. 4

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPM

Dec. 22

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

WSM

Dec. 15

SDPR S&P Regional Banking ETF

KRE

Dec. 14

Emerson Electric Co.

EMR

Dec. 8

Fortinet, Inc.

FTNT

Dec. 7

Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc.

KLIC

Dec. 7

Dillard’s, Inc.

DDS

Dec. 4

Sonos, Inc.

SONO

Dec. 1

American Airlines Group, Inc.

AAL

Nov. 30

Bank of America Corp.

BAC

Nov. 20

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration and Production ETF

XOP

Nov. 20

MetLife, Inc.

MET

Nov. 19

Kohl’s Corp.

KSS

Nov. 18

Applied Materials, Inc.

AMAT

Nov. 17

Regions Financial Corp.

RF

Nov. 13

Norfolk Southern Corp.

NSC

Nov. 9

Communications Services Select Sector SPDR

XLC

Nov. 5

Alphabet, Inc.

GOOGL

Nov. 5

Micron Technology, Inc.

MU

Oct. 20

ON Semiconductor Corp.

ON

Oct. 16

Ford Motor Co.

F

Oct. 15

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF

XHB

Oct. 9

Shake Shack, Inc.

SHAK

Oct. 9

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.

MLM

Sept. 30

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

ANF

Sept. 29

Crocs, Inc.

CROX

Sept. 14

Five Below, Inc.

FIVE

Sept. 10

Deere & Co.

DE

Aug. 24

Johnson Controls International

JCI

Aug. 21

General Motors Co.

GM

Aug. 20

Builders FirstSource, Inc.

BLDR

Aug. 18

Industrial Select Sector SPDR

XLI

Aug. 6

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF

XME

July 28

Materials Select Sector SPDR

XLB

July 20

Caterpillar, Inc.

CAT

July 20

SPDR S&P Retail ETF

XRT

June 3

iShares MSCI Japan ETF

EWJ

May 29

Tesla, Inc.

TSLA

Apr. 23

Apple, Inc.

AAPL

Mar. 27, 2020

Microsoft Corp.

MSFT

Feb. 22, 2019

* Click each symbol for current chart.