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Broadly speaking, the major U.S. benchmarks are acting well technically, though the March price action remains uneven.

Amid the cross currents, the S&P 500 and Dow industrials have staged tandem breakouts — tagging all-time highs — while the Nasdaq Composite has sustained a break to firmer technical ground, though it remains far from record territory.

Before detailing the U.S. markets’ wider view, the S&P 500’s
US:SPX
 hourly chart highlights the past two weeks.

As illustrated, the S&P has cleared its range top, rising to record highs.

The breakout punctuates a flag-like pattern, underpinned by near-term support (3,915).

More broadly, the prevailing upturn punctuates a V-shaped reversal from major support (3,723). The March low (3,723.3) has matched last-ditch support, detailed previously.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
US:DJIA
 has extended a break to record territory.

In fact, the index has tagged an intraday record high across six straight sessions.

Tactically, near-term floors are not well-defined, as illustrated on the daily chart. Headline support points match the Feb. peak (32,009) and the deeper breakout point (31,650).

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Nasdaq Composite
US:COMP
continues to lag behind.

Nonetheless, the index has extended its rally attempt, reclaiming the 50-day moving average, currently 13,394.

A retest of the former range top (13,607) is underway early Tuesday.

Widening the view to six months adds perspective.

On this wider view, the Nasdaq has extended its bullish reversal from major support. Recall the March closing low (12,609) closely matched major support (12,607), detailed previously.

Perhaps more importantly, the index has extended its rally atop the breakdown point, a level matching the 2020 peak (12,973).

Moreover, the rally atop the breakdown point (12,973) encompassed two 7-to-1 up days — across a three-session window — neutralizing the early-March downdraft. (In this context, an “up day” means advancing volume surpassed declining volume by a 7-to-1 margin.)

Tactically, more distant overhead matches the former range top (13,607) and the February breakdown point (13,729).

Looking elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to take flight.

The prevailing upturn marks a bullish two standard deviation breakout, encompassing four straight closes atop the 20-day Bollinger bands.

As always, consecutive closes atop the volatility bands are statistically unusual, and signal a tension between time horizons.

Specifically, the index is near-term extended, and due to consolidate, following an aggressive break outside the range of its “normal” trailing 20-day volatility.

But more importantly, bullish momentum has registered as extreme, likely laying the groundwork for longer-term upside follow-through. (See the Dow’s early-January break atop the bands, subsequent sideways price action, and March follow-through.)

Recall the prevailing upturn punctuates a successful test of the 50-day moving average at the March low.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has registered record highs amid a less decisive breakout.

Still, the rally to previously uncharted territory is straightforwardly bullish.

The bigger picture

As detailed above, the major U.S. benchmarks are acting well technically, though the March price action remains uneven.

On a headline basis, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has knifed to record territory — amid a massive two standard deviation breakout — while the S&P 500 has tagged all-time highs less decisively.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite continues to lag behind, though the index has reclaimed its 50-day moving average.

Collectively, each big three U.S. benchmark’s intermediate-term bias remains bullish.

Moving to the small-caps, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF
US:IWM
 has extended a break to record territory, rising amid decreased volume.

To reiterate, the breakout point, circa 230.30, pivots to support.

More broadly, the prevailing upturn originates from the 50-day moving average.

Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF
US:MDY
 has broken out more decisively, notching four straight record closes, and three consecutive closes atop the 20-volatility bands.

The prevailing upturn punctuates a relatively orderly one-month range, and a successful test of the 50-day moving average.

Looking elsewhere, the SPDR Trust S&P 500
US:SPY
 has cleared its range top, edging to all-time highs.

The SPY has registered three consecutive record closes amid recently decreased volume.

Placing a finer point on the S&P 500, the index has broken to record territory.

The prevailing upturn punctuates a flag-like pattern, underpinned by near-term support (3,915).

More broadly, the prevailing upturn marks the S&P 500’s first material March follow-through. The index has registered three straight record closes.

Tactically, the breakout punctuates a bullish V-shaped reversal from major support (3,723). The March low (3,723.3) has matched last-ditch support, detailed previously.

On further strength, near- to intermediate-term targets project from the March downturn to the 4,100 and 4,175 areas.

Beyond technical levels, the U.S. sub-sector backdrop remains bullish, and the prevailing uptrend remains firmly-grounded as it applies to the internals. The S&P 500’s bigger-picture backdrop continues to support a bullish intermediate-term bias.

Also see: Charting a bullish reversal: Nasdaq ventures atop the breakdown point.

Also see: Bull case strengthens amid statistically unusual technical events.

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 iShares Transportation Average ETF
US:IYT
 is acting well technically.

Earlier this month, the group staged a bull-flag breakout, rising to record highs.

Underlying the upturn, its relative strength index (not illustrated) has registered six-month highs, improving the chances of longer-term follow-through.

Tactically, the range top, circa 241, is followed by the former breakout point (232.00). The latter roughly matches the ascending 50-day moving average, currently 230.95. A sustained posture higher signals a bullish bias. (Also see the March 4 review.)

Moving to specific names, McDonald’s Corp.
US:MCD
 is a Dow 30 component coming to life. (Yield = 2.4%.)

As illustrated, the shares have staged a strong-volume trendline breakout, knifing to three-month highs.

Tactically, the breakout point (216.90) is followed by trendline support roughly matching the 100-day moving average, currently 213.40. The 100-day has marked a bull-bear inflection point, and the prevailing recovery attempt is intact barring a violation.

(On a granular note, the prevailing upturn punctuates a double bottom — the W formation — defined by the January and March lows.)

Virtu Financial, Inc.
US:VIRT
 is a large-cap provider of execution services and data analytics. (Yield = 3.2%.)

Technically, the shares have knifed to 33-month highs, clearing resistance matching the February peak. The breakout builds on the strong-volume late-January spike. An intermediate-term target projects to the 32.50 area.

More broadly, the shares are well positioned on the three-year chart, rising from a massive head-and-shoulders bottom defined by the 2018 and 2020 lows.

Tactically, the breakout point (29.60) is followed by trendline support closely tracking the 50-day moving average. A sustained posture higher signals a bullish bias.

Initially profiled Sept. 14, Crocs, Inc.
US:CROX
 has returned 92.6% and remains well positioned.

As illustrated, the shares have rallied to the range top, rising to tag a nominal record close. The upturn punctuates an orderly six-week range.

Tactically, the breakout point, circa 84.00, is followed by trendline support almost precisely matching the 50-day moving average, currently 75.90. The prevailing uptrend is intact barring a violation.

Finally, Spirit Airlines, Inc.
US:SAVE
 is a well positioned mid-cap name.

As illustrated, the shares have reached 52-week highs, rising from a relatively tight three-week range. Tactically, the breakout point (38.35) is followed by the former range bottom (34.40).

More broadly, the shares are well positioned on the three-year chart, rising atop major resistance closely matching the 200-week moving average.

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

LKQ Corp.

LKQ

Mar. 13

Nordstrom, Inc.

JWN

Mar. 13

Anthem, Inc.

ANTM

Mar. 13

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

WBA

Mar. 12

International Paper Co.

IP

Mar. 12

APA Corp.

APA

Mar. 12

iShares Europe ETF

IEV

Mar. 11

CME Group, Inc.

CME

Mar. 11

Westlake Chemical Corp.

WLK

Mar. 11

3M Co.

MMM

Mar. 11

Southwest Airlines Co.

LUV

Mar. 10

Century Aluminum Co.

CENX

Mar. 10

Packaging Corp. of America

PKG

Mar. 10

MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp.

MX

Mar. 10

Under Armour, Inc.

UA

Mar. 9

Visa, Inc.

V

Mar. 9

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

Alcoa Corp.

AA

Mar. 3

Beazer Homes USA, Inc.

BZH

Mar. 3

EchoStar Corp.

SATS

Mar. 3

Mastercard, Inc.

MA

Mar. 2

Boeing Co.

BA

Mar. 2

Starbucks Corp.

SBUX

Mar. 1

Oceaneering International, Inc.

OII

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

Canada Goose Holdings, Inc.

GOOS

Feb. 19

Chevron Corp.

CVX

Feb. 18

Lyft, Inc.

LYFT

Feb. 16

Intel Corp.

INTC

Feb. 12

Helmerich & Payne, Inc.

HP

Feb. 11

U.S. Global Jets ETF

JETS

Feb. 9

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

MSI

Feb. 9

KeyCorp

KEY

Feb. 5

Diamondback Energy, Inc.

FANG

Feb. 4

Wix.com, Ltd.

WIX

Feb. 3

CarMax, Inc.

KMX

Feb. 3

Toll Brothers, Inc.

TOL

Feb. 2

Eagle Materials, Inc.

EXP

Feb. 2

Avis Budget Group, Inc.

CAR

Feb. 1

Capital One Financial Corp.

COF

Jan. 29

Aptiv, plc

APTV

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

Macy’s, Inc.

M

Jan. 11

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

Calix, Inc.

CALX

Dec. 17

Tenet Healthcare Corp.

THC

Dec. 16

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

WSM

Dec. 15

SDPR S&P Regional Banking ETF

KRE

Dec. 14

Etsy, Inc.

ETSY

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

Valero Energy Corp.

VLO

Dec. 3

Sonos, Inc.

SONO

Dec. 1

American Airlines Group, Inc.

AAL

Nov. 30

Zillow Group, Inc.

ZG

Nov. 23

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

The Travelers Companies, Inc.

TRV

Oct. 21

Micron Technology, Inc.

MU

Oct. 20

Vulcan Materials Co.

VMC

Oct. 19

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

Scientific Games Corp.

SGMS

Sept. 23

Crocs, Inc.

CROX

Sept. 14

Five Below, Inc.

FIVE

Sept. 10

Eastman Chemical Co.

EMN

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

Freeport McMoRan, Inc.

FCX

Aug. 10

Industrial Select Sector SPDR

XLI

Aug. 6

Penn National Gaming, Inc.

PENN

July 30

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF

XME

July 28

iShares MSCI South Korea ETF

EWY

July 28

Materials Select Sector SPDR

XLB

July 20

Caterpillar, Inc.

CAT

July 20

Roku, Inc.

ROKU

July 16

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

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF

EEM

Mar. 19

Microsoft Corp.

MSFT

Feb. 22

* Click each symbol for current chart.

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