Banking

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Technically speaking, the major U.S. benchmarks continue to trend higher, rising amid a still broadly constructive 2021 start.

More immediately, each big three U.S. benchmark has briefly tagged its latest record high early Tuesday, rising amid bull-flag breakout attempts that remain underway.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag 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 the range top, edging to its latest record high.

The prevailing upturn punctuates a bull flag, the prior relatively tight five-session range.

Tactically, the breakout point, circa 3,925, is followed by the former range bottom (3,885).

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
US:DJIA
 has sustained a recently less decisive break to record territory.

Nonetheless, the Dow’s tight range underpinned by the breakout point — the 31,236-to-31,272 area — is technically constructive.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Against this backdrop, the Nasdaq Composite
US:COMP
is challenging its range top.

Consider that Friday’s session high (14,102) registered slightly under its record high (14,109).

The index briefly followed through early Tuesday, tagging previously uncharted territory. As always, it’s the session close that matters. A breakout attempt is in play.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Widening the view to six months adds perspective.

On this wider view, the Nasdaq is consolidating a sharp early-February rally. Recall the initially decisive 2.0% breakout confirms its primary uptrend.

Tactically, the Nasdaq’s first notable floor matches the breakout point (13,730).

More broadly, the prevailing upturn originates from major support matching the 2020 peak (12,973).

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Looking elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has sustained a less decisive break to record highs.

The prevailing upturn marks about a 0.6% breakout, not yet confirming its primary trend.

Nonetheless, the sharp V-shaped reversal from last-ditch support (29,964) — and grinding-higher follow-through — are technically constructive.

Recall that the former range top pivots to support, an area also detailed on the hourly chart.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has slightly extended its February break to record territory.

Recall that the prevailing flag — the S&P’s tight mid-month range — is a bullish continuation pattern.

The bigger picture

Collectively, the major U.S. benchmarks are acting well technically.

On a headline basis, each big three benchmark has asserted a flag-like pattern — tight one-week ranges — signaling still muted selling pressure near record highs.

Against this backdrop, each index has at least briefly tagged a record high early Tuesday. Breakout attempts are underway.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Moving to the small-caps, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF
US:IWM
 is digesting the most decisive breakout of the widely-tracked U.S. benchmarks.

As detailed repeatedly, the initial spike marked an unusually strong two standard deviation breakout, encompassing four straight closes atop the 20-day Bollinger bands.

Separately, the early-month rally marked a massive 4.8% breakout, confirming its primary uptrend.

Though near-term extended — and a sideways chopping-around phase is underway — the statistically unusual rally is likely longer-term bullish.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF
US:MDY
 has extended a less decisive breakout.

Recall that the prevailing upturn originates from the breakout point (425.30), an area matching the 2020 peak.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Looking elsewhere, the SPDR Trust S&P 500
US:SPY
 has fractionally extended its uptrend amid grinding-higher price action.

Recall that the prevailing upturn originates from major support closely matching the 50-day moving average.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Placing a finer point on the S&P 500, the has narrowly tagged its latest record high to punctuate a five-session flag pattern. A breakout attempt is in play.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

On further strength, a near-term target continues to project from the S&P’s late-January range to the 4,010 area, about 1.9% above current levels.

Conversely, the S&P’s breakout point (3,870) is followed by an inflection point in the 3,830 area.

Delving deeper, the 50-day moving average, currently 3,775, is followed by the former range bottom (3,750).

Also recall that likely last-ditch support points match the December gap (3,723) and late-January low (3,694). An eventual violation would mark a material “lower low” likely raising a caution flag.

Beyond specific levels, the S&P 500’s intermediate-term uptrend remains firmly-grounded based on today’s backdrop.

Also see: Charting a grinding-higher breakout, S&P 500 tags latest record peak.

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.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Drilling down further, the Financial Select Sector SPDR
US:XLF
 is rattling the cage on a potential breakout. (Yield = 2.0%.)

More specifically, the group has rallied to the range top, rising to challenge its record high (31.62) established last month.

The tight prevailing one-week range signals muted selling pressure near resistance, improving the chances of eventual follow-through. An intermediate-term target projects to the 33.50 area.

Slightly more broadly, the prevailing upturn originates from the breakout point, circa 29,00, a bull-bear fulcrum detailed previously. (See the Jan. 26 review and Feb. 1 review.)

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Meanwhile, the iShares Transportation Average ETF
US:IYT
 has also reached a major test.

Here again, the group is challenging its record high matching the January peak (232.97). An intermediate-term target projects to the 250 area on follow-through.

Tactically, the prevailing upturn punctuates a successful test of major support — the 212.80-to-214.50 area — detailed previously. (See the Jan. 26 review.)

(The January low (212.80), established Jan. 29, precisely matched last-ditch support.)

Combined, the transports and financials are traditional sector leaders. The tandem breakout attempts signal a firmly-grounded U.S. sub-sector backdrop.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Initially profiled Dec. 2, Analog Devices, Inc.
US:ADI
 has returned 14.2% and remains well positioned.

Technically, the shares have rallied to the range top, rising to press record territory.

The prevailing upturn punctuates a successful test of the breakout point (146.10) and the 50-day moving average. Tactically, a breakout attempt is in play barring a violation of near-term support, circa 154.25.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Inphi Corp.
US:IPHI
 is a well positioned large-cap semiconductor name.

As illustrated, the shares have staged an orderly pullback from record highs, finding support slightly above the breakout point. The prevailing upturn positions the shares for a potential retest of the January peak.

Tactically, the 50-day moving average, currently 164.40, has marked a bull-bear inflection point. The prevailing uptrend is comfortably intact barring a violation.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Public since March 2019, Lyft, Inc.
US:LYFT
 is a well positioned large-cap name.

Technically, the shares have staged a nearly straightline February rally, knifing to 17-month highs. The upturn has been punctuated by last week’s strong-volume spike after the company’s fourth-quarter results.

Though near-term extended, and due to consolidate, the shares are attractive on a pullback. Tactically, gap support (55.26) is followed by the firmer breakout point (50.70).

More broadly, the prevailing upturn punctuates an orderly two-month range hinged to the November vaccine-fueled gap atop the 200-day moving average. Bullish price action.

Charting bull-flag breakout attempts: S&P 500, Nasdaq tag record territory

Finally, Builders FirstSource, Inc.
US:BLDR
 — initially profiled Aug. 18 — has returned 44.6% and remains well positioned.

Earlier this month, the shares rallied to record highs, edging atop resistance matching the December and January peaks.

The subsequent flag — the tight one-week range — is a bullish continuation pattern, likely positioning the shares to extend the uptrend. Tactically, the breakout point (42.40) is closely followed by the post-breakout low (42.12) and the ascending 50-day moving average, currently 39.95.

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

Intel Corp.

INTC

Feb. 12

KLA Corp.

KLAC

Feb. 12

Pinterest, Inc.

PINS

Feb. 12

Nvidia Corp.

NVDA

Feb. 11

Veeva Systems, Inc.

VEEV

Feb. 11

Helmerich & Payne, Inc.

HP

Feb. 11

Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

ZM

Feb. 10

Hologic, Inc.

HOLX

Feb. 10

McDonald’s Corp.

MCD

Feb. 10

U.S. Global Jets ETF

JETS

Feb. 9

Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

LOW

Feb. 9

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

MSI

Feb. 9

iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF

ITB

Feb. 8

Lennar Corp.

LEN

Feb. 8

Nike, Inc.

NKE

Feb. 8

Beyond Meat, Inc.

BYND

Feb. 8

Cisco Systems, Inc.

CSCO

Feb. 5

KeyCorp

KEY

Feb. 5

Datadog, Inc.

DDOG

Feb. 5

Appian Corp.

APPN

Feb. 4

Diamondback Energy, Inc.

FANG

Feb. 4

Gogo, Inc.

GOGO

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

NetApp, Inc.

NTAP

Jan. 29

Aptiv, plc

APTV

Jan. 29

Rio Tinto Group

RIO

Jan. 26

Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.

SRNE

Jan. 26

Netflix, Inc.

NFLX

Jan. 25

Cummins, Inc.

CMI

Jan. 25

Invesco Solar ETF

TAN

Jan. 22

Magna International, Inc.

MGA

Jan. 22

M.D.C. Holdings, Inc.

MDC

Jan. 22

Zebra Technologies Corp.

ZBRA

Jan. 14

Chegg, Inc.

CHGG

Jan. 11

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

Teledoc Health, Inc.

TDOC

Jan. 8

Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

SWKS

Jan. 7

Financial Select Sector SPDR

XLF

Jan. 7

Synaptics, Inc.

SYNA

Jan. 4

Sunrun, Inc.

RUN

Dec. 23

ShockWave Medical, Inc.

SWAV

Dec. 23

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPM

Dec. 22

Ballard Power Systems, Inc.

BLDP

Dec. 21

LivePerson, Inc.

LPSN

Dec. 21

United Therapeutics Corp.

UTHR

Dec. 21

Shopify, Inc.

SHOP

Dec. 18

CyberArk Software Ltd.

CYBR

Dec. 18

Calix, Inc.

CALX

Dec. 17

Elastic N.V.

ESTC

Dec. 17

Tenet Healthcare Corp.

THC

Dec. 16

Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

WSM

Dec. 15

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF

IBB

Dec. 15

SDPR S&P Regional Banking ETF

KRE

Dec. 14

Etsy, Inc.

ETSY

Dec. 14

Plug Power, Inc.

PLUG

Dec. 9

F5 Networks, Inc.

FFIV

Dec. 8

Emerson Electric Co.

EMR

Dec. 8

Zscaler, Inc.

ZS

Dec. 7

Fortinet, Inc.

FTNT

Dec. 7

Kulicke and Soffa Industries, Inc.

KLIC

Dec. 7

Dillard’s, Inc.

DDS

Dec. 4

Spotify Technology S.A.

SPOT

Dec. 3

Valero Energy Corp.

VLO

Dec. 3

Analog Devices, Inc.

ADI

Dec. 2

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

RingCentral, Inc.

RNG

Nov. 13

Regions Financial Corp.

RF

Nov. 13

Snap, Inc.

SNAP

Nov. 9

Norfolk Southern Corp.

NSC

Nov. 9

Communications Services Select Sector SPDR

XLC

Nov. 5

Health Care Select Sector SPDR

XLV

Nov. 5

Alphabet, Inc.

GOOGL

Nov. 5

Keysight Technologies, Inc.

KEYS

Nov. 4

8×8, Inc.

EGHT

Nov. 3

Exact Sciences Corp.

EXAS

Nov. 2

Universal Display Corp.

OLED

Nov. 2

Dentsply Sirona, Inc.

XRAY

Oct. 27

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.

MXIM

Oct. 21

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

First Solar, Inc.

FSLR

Oct. 13

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF

XHB

Oct. 9

Shake Shack, Inc.

SHAK

Oct. 9

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF

XBI

Oct. 8

Twilio, Inc.

TWLO

Oct. 8

Cloudflare, Inc.

NET

Oct. 7

SailPoint Technology Holdings, Inc.

SAIL

Oct. 1

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.

MLM

Sept. 30

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

ANF

Sept. 29

Zendesk, Inc.

ZEN

Sept. 23

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

Canadian Solar, Inc.

CSIQ

Aug. 20

General Motors Co.

GM

Aug. 20

Builders FirstSource, Inc.

BLDR

Aug. 18

Enphase Energy, Inc.

ENPH

Aug. 13

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

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

AMD

July 23

Materials Select Sector SPDR

XLB

July 20

Caterpillar, Inc.

CAT

July 20

Roku, Inc.

ROKU

July 16

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR

XLY

July 13

SunPower Corp.

SPWR

July 13

Danaher Corp.

DHR

June 24

Fiverr International, Ltd.

FVRR

June 19

Square, Inc.

SQ

June 8

SPDR S&P Retail ETF

XRT

June 3

iShares MSCI Japan ETF

EWJ

May 29

Synopsis, Inc.

SNPS

May 27

Agilent Technologies, Inc.

A

May 15

Five9, Inc.

FIVN

Apr. 24

Chewy, Inc.

CHWY

Apr. 24

Tesla, Inc.

TSLA

Apr. 23

VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF

SMH

Apr. 17

Okta, Inc.

OKTA

Apr. 16

Target Corp.

TGT

Apr. 16

Invesco QQQ Trust

QQQ

Apr. 14

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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