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Charting the approach of Dow 30,000 as bullish sector rotation persists



Technically speaking, the major U.S. benchmarks continue to rise amid firmly-bullish November price action.

Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 and Dow industrials have concurrently registered record closes, to start this week, amid still healthy market rotation and expanding sector participation.

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

As illustrated, the S&P has extended its November rally, tagging a record close.

Tactically, Tuesday’s early session low (3,588.7) has matched support at the September peak (3,588), a level formerly marking the S&P’s all-time high.

More broadly, the prevailing upturn punctuates last week’s flag-like pattern, hinged to the steep early-November rally.

Similarly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
 has extended its November rally.

In its case, the blue-chip benchmark has registered a record close (29,950) as well as an absolute record peak (29,964).

The marquee 30,000 mark is firmly within view.

True to recent form, the Nasdaq Composite
remains in divergence mode.

This is the lone big three U.S. benchmark not to register a record close Monday.

Nonetheless, the index has maintained major support — the 11,450-to-11,460 area — and continues to generally hold its range top. Constructive price action.

Widening the view to six months adds perspective.

On this wider view, the Nasdaq has weathered last week’s downdraft from the range top.

Recall that the downturn has been underpinned by major support (11,460).

More immediately, the prevailing upturn places within view a retest of major resistance. Overhead inflection points match the October peak (11,965), the Nasdaq’s record close (12,056) and the November peak (12,108). (Also see the September peak (12,074), formerly the Nasdaq’s all-time high.)

Looking elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied to record highs.

The prevailing upturn punctuates a mid-November flag-like pattern, the tight range effectively underpinned by gap support (29,127).

To reiterate, the 30,000 mark is firmly within striking distance.

More broadly, the prevailing upturn punctuates a successful test of the 200-day moving average at the October low.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has rallied to register a record close.

The prevailing follow-through punctuates a flag-like pattern hinged to the steep early-November rally. Recall the October peak (3,550) remains an inflection point.

The bigger picture

Collectively, the bigger-picture backdrop continues to strengthen amid unusually strong November price action.

On a headline basis, the S&P 500 and Dow industrials have concurrently registered record closes.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite has not broken out, pressured at least partly as a source of funds deployed elsewhere. Very generally, the stay-at-home trade favored the technology sector, and recent vaccine progress has contributed to rotation elsewhere.

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

Moving to the small-caps, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF has extended a November breakout.

In the process, the small-cap benchmark has notched consecutive record closes, eclipsing its former record close (173.02), established August 2018.

Similarly, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF has registered consecutive record closes.

More broadly, the small- and mid-cap benchmarks are rising from tandem flag-like patterns hinged to the steep early-November rallies. Bullish price action.

Looking elsewhere, the SPDR Trust S&P 500 has tagged a record close amid a less-decisive breakout.

The prevailing upturn punctuates a double bottom defined by the September and October lows.

Placing a finer point on the S&P 500, the index is building on last Monday’s vaccine-fueled breakout, six sessions ago.

The ensuing pullback filled the gap, and the S&P has subsequently rallied to notch consecutive record closes. Bullish price action.

More broadly, the S&P 500 is rising from a flag-like pattern hinged to the steep early-November spike from major support (3,233).

The bull flag punctuates a double bottom — the W formation — defined by the September and October lows.

Against this backdrop, the S&P is traversing truly less-charted territory, capped only by its absolute record peak (3,646).

Tactically, the September peak (3,588) marks its first notable floor. Tuesday’s early session low (3,588.7) has matched the inflection point.

Beyond technical levels, the bigger-picture backdrop continues to strengthen amid healthy market rotation and expanding sector participation. The S&P 500’s path of least resistance points higher pending signs of a bearish pulse.

Also see: Charting market rotation: S&P 500, Dow industrials challenge record highs.

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 MSCI Japan ETF
 has taken flight. (Yield = 2.0%.)

Specifically, the shares have knifed to 22-month highs, rising amid a massive two standard deviation breakout, encompassing four straight closes atop the 20-day Bollinger bands.

The subsequent flag pattern — the tight one-week range — positions the shares to build on the decisive breakout.

More broadly, the shares are pressing a truly longer-term range top, illustrated on the 24-year chart. Follow-through atop the 2018 peak (64.72) would place the shares at 20-year highs. The November peak (64.45) has registered nearby.

Moving to U.S. sectors, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF
 is challenging record highs.

In fact, the group has edged atop resistance matching the October peak, rising to notch a record close. The prevailing upturn punctuates a tight range, laying the groundwork for potentially more decisive follow-through.

Tactically, the group’s former range bottom (53.25) remains an inflection point. A breakout attempt is in play barring a violation.

More broadly, the group remains well positioned on the three-year chart, rising from a continuation pattern hinged to the massive early-2020 V-shaped reversal.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR
 has reached record territory. (Yield = 2.5%.)

The prevailing upturn punctuates a double bottom defined by the September and October lows. An intermediate-term target projects to the 72.00 area on follow-through.

Conversely, the breakout point (66.80) pivots to support. A posture higher signals a firmly-bullish bias.

Moving to specific names, Applied Materials, Inc.
 is a well positioned large-cap chip equipment name.

As illustrated, the shares have tagged a record close, rising after the company’s quarterly results, released late last week. The prevailing upturn builds on the steep early-November spike to all-time highs.

Tactically, the breakout point (69.90) pivots to support and is closely followed by the post-breakout low (69.10).

More broadly, the shares are well positioned on the four-year chart, rising to record territory from a multi-year cup-and-handle pattern.

Initially profiled July 13, SunPower Corp.
 has returned 226% and remains well positioned.

Earlier this month, the shares knifed to five-year highs, clearing the October peak amid a volume spike. The ensuing pullback has been comparably flat, fueled by decreased volume, placing the shares 9.5% under the November peak.

Tactically, the breakout point (18.20) pivots to well-defined support. The prevailing uptrend is firmly-intact barring a violation.

Finally, Delta Air Lines, Inc.
 is a large-cap carrier coming to life.

Technically, the shares have recently knifed to six-month highs, gapping atop the 200-day moving average amid a vaccine-fueled rally.

Though still near-term extended, the strong-volume spike signals a trend shift. Tactically, the October peak (34.04) matches the post-breakout low (34.02) and marks well-defined support.

Also notice the recent golden cross — or bullish 50-day/200-day moving average crossover — signaling that the intermediate-term uptrend has overtaken the longer-term trend.

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.


Symbol* (Click symbol for chart.)

Date Profiled

Appian Corp.


Nov. 16

Ross Stores, Inc.


Nov. 16

Boeing Co.


Nov. 16

RingCentral, Inc.


Nov. 13

Urban Outfitters, Inc.


Nov. 13

Regions Financial Corp.


Nov. 13

iShares Europe ETF


Nov. 13

Flex, Inc.


Nov. 9

Snap, Inc.


Nov. 9

Norfolk Southern Corp.


Nov. 9

Materials Select Sector SPDR


Nov. 6

Communications Services Select Sector SPDR


Nov. 5

Health Care Select Sector SPDR


Nov. 5

Alphabet, Inc.


Nov. 5

Uber Technologies, Inc.


Nov. 5

Keysight Technologies, Inc.


Nov. 4

Harley-Davidson, Inc.


Nov. 4

Garmin, Ltd.


Nov. 4

Pinterest, Inc.


Nov. 3

Sony Corp.


Nov. 3

8×8, Inc.


Nov. 3

Exact Sciences Corp.


Nov. 2

Universal Display Corp.


Nov. 2

Dentsply Sirona, Inc.


Oct. 27

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.


Oct. 21

Jazz Pharmaceuticals, plc


Oct. 21

The Travelers Companies, Inc.


Oct. 21

Micron Technology, Inc.


Oct. 20

Vulcan Materials Co.


Oct. 19

Utilities Select Sector SPDR


Oct. 19

ON Semiconductor Corp.


Oct. 16

Ford Motor Co.


Oct. 15

Texas Instruments, Inc.


Oct. 15

Skyworks Solutions, Inc.


Oct. 14

First Solar, Inc.


Oct. 13

Nevro Corp.


Oct. 12

Teradyne, Inc.


Oct. 12

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF


Oct. 9

Shake Shack, Inc.


Oct. 9

SPDR S&P Biotech ETF


Oct. 8

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Oct. 8

Twilio, Inc.


Oct. 8

Cloudflare, Inc.


Oct. 7

Ceridian HCM Holding, Inc.


Oct. 7

Gap, Inc.


Oct. 6

Motorola Solutions, Inc.


Oct. 6

RSailPoint Technology Holdings, Inc.


Oct. 1

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.


Sept. 30

Whirlpool Corp.


Sept. 29

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.


Sept. 29

Blueprint Medicines Co.


Sept. 28

Zendesk, Inc.


Sept. 23

Scientific Games Corp.


Sept. 23

Crocs, Inc.


Sept. 14

Five Below, Inc.


Sept. 10

Eastman Chemical Co.


Sept. 10

International Paper Co.


Sept. 3

Anaplan, Inc.


Sept. 2

Celanese Corp.


Aug. 26

Westlake Chemical Corp.


Aug. 25

Deere & Co.


Aug. 24

Expedia Group, Inc.


Aug. 24

Johnson Controls International


Aug. 21

Canadian Solar, Inc.


Aug. 20

General Motors Co.


Aug. 20

Starbucks Corp.


Aug. 18

Builders FirstSource, Inc.


Aug. 18

Steel Dynamics, Inc.


Aug. 17

Elanco Animal Health, Inc.


Aug. 17

Brinker International, Inc.


Aug. 13

Enphase Energy, Inc.


Aug. 13

Nucor Corp.


Aug. 11

Freeport McMoRan, Inc.


Aug. 10

Natera, Inc.


Aug. 10

McDonald’s Corp.


Aug. 7

Industrial Select Sector SPDR


Aug. 6

Penn National Gaming, Inc.


July 30

Procter & Gamble Co.


July 29

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF


July 28

iShares MSCI South Korea ETF


July 28

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


July 23

Best Buy Co., Inc.


July 22

Materials Select Sector SPDR


July 20

Caterpillar, Inc.


July 20

Roku, Inc.


July 16

Cognizant Technology Solutions, Inc.


July 16

Costco Wholesale Corp.


July 15

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR


July 13

SunPower Corp.


July 13

Walmart, Inc.


July 8

Danaher Corp.


June 24

Fiverr International, Ltd.


June 19

HubSpot, Inc.


June 8

Square, Inc.


June 8

FedEx Corp.


June 3



June 3

iShares MSCI Japan ETF


May 29

Synopsis, Inc.


May 27

Agilent Technologies, Inc.


May 15

Qualcomm, Inc.


May 12

Facebook, Inc.


May 7

Dollar General Corp.


Apr. 28

ServiceNow, Inc.


Apr. 27

Five9, Inc.


Apr. 24

Chewy, Inc.


Apr. 24

Tesla, Inc.


Apr. 23

VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF


Apr. 17

Veeva Systems, Inc.


Apr. 17

Okta, Inc.


Apr. 16

Target Corp.


Apr. 16

Invesco QQQ Trust


Apr. 14

Apple, Inc.


Mar. 27

Nvidia Corp.


Mar. 27

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF


Mar. 19

SPDR Gold Shares ETF


Jan. 2

Microsoft Corp.


Feb. 22

* Click each symbol for current chart.

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‘I could live on my Social Security and still save money’: This 66-year-old left Chicago for ‘calming’ Costa Rica — where he now plans to live indefinitely




Editor’s note: This article was first published in September 2019.

A school break changed 66-year-old Martin Farber’s life forever.

In 2007, his daughter — who at the time was attending Illinois State University — decided she wanted to spend a college holiday volunteering in Costa Rica and staying with a local family, he explains. She came home raving about the experience, so, in 2008, Farber — who at the time was living in Evanston, Ill., just outside Chicago, and selling cars — took his first trip there.

“It was a big surprise to me — bumpy roads, dogs barking in the streets,” he says. “I wasn’t enamored at first.”

But as his daughter began traveling there more and eventually moved there for a year, he took additional trips to Costa Rica. It quickly grew on him — in particular, the people. “The Costa Rican people are warm, open and friendly. I felt less invisible in a strange country in a strange town where I didn’t speak the language than I did in Evanston.”

And the more time he spent there, the more it impacted him: “On one of my trips there, I thought: My daughter’s life makes more sense than mine,” he says. “There was nothing wrong with my life, but I felt that my life was out of context with who I’d become. … I would have bills and make money to pay them, but that had ceased to be satisfying,” he recalls. “I knew I needed to change my life — there was no more joy in what I was doing.”

What’s more, when he’d return from his Costa Rica trips, people noticed. “I would come back, and my friends and therapist would say: You seem better after you go,” he says with a laugh.

A view from the hot springs near Martin Farber’s home in Costa Rica.

Martin Farber

So in 2014, he packed up and moved to Orosi — a picturesque, lush small town with waterfalls and hot springs a little over an hour’s drive from San Jose — promising himself he’d stay for two years. It’s been five, and he now plans to stay in Costa Rica indefinitely. (Though Farber notes that, to him, “it’s not a retirement; it’s a chance to lead a new and different life.”)

Here’s what his life is like, from costs to health care to residency to everyday life:

The cost: While many expats spend way more living in Costa Rica, Farber says: “I could live on my Social Security and still save money.” He says “a person can live on $1,200 per month, two people on $2,000.” The key, he says, is to live more like he does and as the Costa Ricans do — in a modest home, eating local food and purchasing local goods.

Indeed, Farber himself spends just $300 a month for rent (he rents a home from a friend who moved recently and gave him a good deal), roughly $225 a month on groceries and just $50 a month total on water and electricity (the temperate climate in Orosi means you rarely need heat or air conditioning). The veteran Volkswagen


salesman saves money by not owning a car (those over 65 ride municipal buses for free), which can be a significant expense in Costa Rica; for his cellphone, “I pay as I go … roughly $10 may last me a couple weeks or more,” he says, adding that “many people handle there their cellphones this way. You can get them recharged anywhere.”

His major expense is travel: He goes back to the U.S. to visit his mother in Florida several times a year and lately has spent part of the summer in Chicago helping out a friend with a dealership there. He also spends a good amount of money on health care. He says that while flights can be had for as little as $350 roundtrip during offseasons, the cost can be much higher the rest of the year.

In the saddle.

Martin Farber

Health care: Farber, who has permanent resident status in Costa Rica, says he pays about $90 per month to participate in the country’s health-care system — adding that the health care he’s received has been very good. (A 2018 study of health-care quality and access in more than 190 nations ranked Costa Rica No. 62.)

When he developed a detached retina, though, he paid for the procedure out of pocket so that he didn’t have to wait for the required surgery, he says — adding that the entire procedure cost him about $5,000. “I would have had to have waited four days,” he says, if he had not paid to expedite matters. “That might have been fine, but it might not.” And he adds that the quality of care depends on where you get it in the country.

Lifestyle: Though Farber says that he “moved here with no goals and no agenda,” he’s found plenty to do. “I take Spanish lessons two days a week for two hours a day. It’s been great. I never thought I would acquire a usable language in my 60s,” he says. He also rides his bike all around the area, does some writing and belongs to a community group that undertakes projects to improve the area.

And he often simply takes in nature, which he says has been an essential part of why he feels calmer and more relaxed in Costa Rica than in the U.S. “I live at 3,000 feet but in a valley surrounded by coffee fields and lime trees and water. At night, if I open the windows, I can hear the river rushing by,” he says. “It is very calming … hundreds of trees everywhere … you know the Earth is alive.”

The historic Iglesia de San José de Orosi.


Cons: “I don’t want to overglorify. It’s not without its problems,” Farber says of Costa Rica. “There are social problems and downsides.” He notes that crime and petty theft can be a problem (“I am cautious,” he says of his approach) and seem to have increased since he moved there, and adds that he misses out on some cultural things because of where he lives. And, he says with a laugh, “I can’t order Thai food at 9 at night.” But, he adds: “These are trade-offs — in the afternoon, I get to walk in the coffee fields and see flocks of parrots.”

Residency: To qualify for Costa Rica’s pensionado visa, expats must prove that they have a pension of at least $1,000 coming in each month. (Here are the details of that program.) Once you have lived in Costa Rica for three years, you can apply for permanent residency. Farber used a lawyer to help him figure out the ins and outs of residency options; his entire path to permanent residency took about a year, he says.

The bottom line: “After five years I am still amazed and surprised that I made the decision to lead a life I never thought I would,” he says. And while he may not stay in Orosi forever — “the town doesn’t have an ambulance, [and] I don’t know what it will be like to be 80 there,” he says — he does plan to stay in Costa Rica in no small part because of the people and sense of community. “I have the feeling that life is good here,” he says. “It’s hard sometimes, but we are all in it together.”

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Mutual Funds Weekly: These money and investing tips can help you read the market’s signs and stay on your path




These money and investing stories were popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week.

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Mutual Funds Weekly: These money and investing tips can help you read the market’s signs and stay on your path




These money and investing stories were popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week.

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