Charting a slow-motion November breakout, S&P 500 approaches the 2,600 mark


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The major U.S. stock benchmarks have concurrently registered consecutive record closes, punctuating a bullish, if less than spectacular, November start.

In the process, the prevailing slow-motion uptrend continues to grind higher against the backdrop of constructive sector rotation. The charts below add color:


Before detailing the U.S. markets’ wider view, the S&P 500’s SPX, -0.02%  hourly chart highlights the past two weeks.

As illustrated, the S&P has extended its uptrend, slightly, rising within view of the 2,600 mark.


Tactically, the 2,578 area remains an inflection point, and is followed by former gap support, circa 2,564.


Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has extended its uptrend, registering four straight intraday all-time highs, and three consecutive record closes.

In its case, the 23,480 area marks an inflection point, and is followed by near-term support, circa 23,340.


Perhaps not surprisingly, the Nasdaq Composite has also extended its uptrend.

Technically, the index is rising from a flag-like pattern, underpinned by last week’s low (6,677), also illustrated on the daily chart below.


Widening the view to six months adds perspective.

On this wider view, the Nasdaq has extended the late-October gap to record territory.

Consider that the 20-day moving average closely matches the breakout point, circa 6,640, an area defining the first notable support.


Moving to the Dow, the blue-chip benchmark is rising from a bull flag pinned to the steep October rally.

The pattern is underpinned by support, circa 23,250, and resembles the late-September price action.


Similarly, the S&P 500 is refusing to pull in.

Consider that it continues to trend steadily atop the 20-day moving average, currently 2,569. The S&P has not closed under the 20-day, a widely-tracked near-term trending indicator, since Aug. 29.

The bigger picture

Broadly speaking, the major U.S. benchmarks have asserted a slow, but steady, late-year uptrend.

Within the trend, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has notched three straight record closes, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have registered consecutive record closes. Constructive price action.


Moving to the small-caps, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF IWM, -1.20%  has not tagged record territory, unlike the major U.S. benchmarks.

Still, the familiar five-week range is constructive. To reiterate, this is a continuation pattern, pinned to the steep September rally.


The small-cap benchmark’s record close (150.33) and absolute record peak (150.68) remain just overhead.


Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 has tagged a nominal record close.

In its case, the mid-cap benchmark is rising from consecutive flag-like patterns, bisected by first support, circa 331.


All told, the U.S. benchmarks are off to a constructive, though admittedly unspectacular, November start. Each widely-tracked benchmark, save the Russell 2000, has reached record territory in grinding-higher form.

Meanwhile, the U.S. sub-sector backdrop remains rotational, signaling a firmly-grounded bull trend.

For instance, the prevailing leg higher has been fueled by technology sector and energy sector strength, while the transports and health care sector have been modestly pressured.

As it applies to the S&P 500, the 20-day moving average, currently 2,567, remains an inflection point. To reiterate, the S&P has not closed lower since Aug. 29.


This is followed by near-term support, circa 2,548, matching the S&P’s two-week range bottom.

Delving deeper, the ascending 50-day moving average, currently 2,528, is followed by the more important 2,508 breakout point. The S&P 500’s intermediate-term uptrend is intact barring a violation.

See also: S&P 500’s powerful bull trend meets seasonal tailwind.

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.


Most recently profiled Monday, the United States Oil Fund has staged a headline technical breakout. The fund tracks the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light, sweet crude oil.

As illustrated, the shares have knifed to eight-month highs, rising on increased volume amid political unrest in Saudi Arabia.

This week’s upturn punctuates the late-October breakout, already underway, amid optimism that OPEC nations will extend their production-cut agreement at a pending month-end meeting.

Technically, the breakout resolves an ascending triangle pinned to the June low. Additional overhead, circa 11.65, is followed by the 2017 peak of 12.00.


Conversely, near-term support, circa 11.00, is followed by a firmer floor matching the breakout point (10.65).

More broadly, recent strength confirms the USO’s uptrend, a recovery attempt initially flagged in the Sept. 26 and Oct. 9 reviews.


Against this backdrop, the Energy Select Sector SPDR XLE, -0.13%   — profiled twice last week — has extended its breakout.

Specifically, the group has knifed to six-month highs, placing distance atop the 200-day moving average, an area that formerly matched resistance.


Tactically, first support matches the former range top, circa 69, and is followed by a deeper floor, circa 67. The group’s rally attempt is intact barring a violation.

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

Slightly more broadly, the group is also well positioned on the one-year chart.


Initially profiled Feb. 23, Facebook, Inc. FB, +0.04% has returned 34.3% and remains well positioned.

Earlier this month, the shares reached record territory, amid a volume spike, rising after the company’s strong third-quarter results.


The ensuing flag pattern is underpinned by the breakout point, circa 176, positioning the shares to extend the breakout. Deeper support matches the 50-day moving average, currently 172.70, and Facebook’s uptrend is firmly intact barring a violation.


Corning, Inc. GLW, +1.29% is a well positioned large-cap name. (Yield = 1.9%.)

As illustrated, the shares have recently knifed to resistance, rising after the company’s third-quarter results signaled strong demand for its glass used in smartphones.


The shares have subsequently held tightly to the range top — an area matching 16-year highs — laying the groundwork for an eventual breakout, and potentially material follow-through. Near-term support matches the prevailing range bottom (30.20) and a breakout attempt is in play barring a violation.


Teradata Corp. TDC, -2.56%  is a mid-cap developer of data management and analysis tools.

Technically, the shares have recently knifed to two-year highs, gapping higher after the company’s strong quarterly results. The breakout originates from trendline support closely tracking the 50-day moving average.


The ensuing pullback has been fueled by decreased volume, placing the shares 7.2% under the November peak.

Tactically, first support matches the top of the gap (34.75) and is followed by the breakout point, circa 34.00. A sustained posture higher positions the shares to build on the initial spike.

Editor’s Note: This is a free edition of The Technical Indicator, a daily MarketWatch subscriber newsletter. To get this column each market day, click here.

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 Date Profiled
Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. DO Nov. 6
Guidewire Software, Inc. GWRE Nov. 6
InterXion Holding, N.V. INXN Nov. 6
Yum Brands, Inc. YUM Nov. 6
Skyworks Solutions, Inc. SWKS Nov. 3
Cree, Inc. CREE Nov. 3
Icon, plc ICLR Nov. 3
First Solar, Inc. FSLR Nov. 3
Canadian Solar, Inc. CSIQ Nov. 2
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. APC Nov. 2
LogMeIn, Inc. LOGM Nov. 2
Twitter, Inc. TWTR Nov. 1
Workday, Inc. WDAY Nov. 1
Ambarella, Inc. AMBA Nov. 1
Integrated Device Technology, Inc. IDTI Nov. 1
Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited MLCO Nov. 1
Broadcom Limited AVGO Oct. 31
Canadian Natural Resources, Inc. CNQ Oct. 31
SM Energy Co. SM Oct. 31
Microsoft Corp. MSFT Oct. 30
Akamai Technologies, Inc. AKAM Oct. 30
Cirrus Logic, Inc. CRUS Oct. 30
Synopsis, Inc. SNPS Oct. 26
PVH Corp. PVH Oct. 26
Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO Oct. 25
CF Industries Holdings, Inc. CF Oct. 25
Mosaic Co. MOS Oct. 25
Builders FirstSource, Inc. BLDR Oct. 25
Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. MXIM Oct. 25
STMicroelectronics N.V. STM Oct. 24
Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. MRVL Oct. 24
Lululemon Athletica, Inc. LULU Oct. 24
PPG Industries, Inc. PPG Oct. 23
East West Bancorp, Inc. EWBC Oct. 23
II-VI, Inc. IIVI Oct. 23
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF XHB Oct. 20
Travelers Companies, Inc. TRV Oct. 20
Johnson & Johnson JNJ Oct. 20
Steel Dynamics, Inc. STLD Oct. 20
Trinseo S.A. TSE Oct. 20
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. JBHT Oct. 19
Michael Kors Holdings Limited KORS Oct. 18
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SPPI Oct. 17
Marathon Oil Corp. MRO Oct. 17
Ichor Holdings, Inc. ICHR Oct. 16
SM Energy Co. SM Oct. 16
Nutanix, Inc. NTNX Oct. 16
Dollar General DG Oct. 16
Paychex, Inc. PAYX Oct. 13
Union Pacific Corp. UNP Oct. 12
Blackberry Ltd. BB Oct. 12
International Business Machines Corp. IBM Oct. 11
Ford Motor Co. F Oct. 11
Zogenix, Inc. ZGNX Oct. 11
Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA Oct. 10
The Trade Desk, Inc. TTD Oct. 9
Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. FPRX Oct. 9
Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. DO Oct. 6
3M Co. MMM Oct. 5
LGI Homes, Inc. LGIH Oct. 5
HubSpot, Inc. HUBS Oct. 4
SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. SEDG Oct. 4
Intel Corp. INTC Oct. 3
Salesforce.com, Inc. CRM Oct. 3
Citrix Systems, Inc. CTXS Oct. 3
XPO Logistics, Inc. XPO Oct. 2
EOG Resources, Inc. EOG Oct. 2
Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. NBIX Oct. 2
FedEx Corp. FDX Sept. 29
YY, Inc. YY Sept. 29
Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT Sept. 28
SPDR Regional Banking ETF KRE Sept. 28
Nvidia Corp. NVDA Sept. 27
Financial Select Sector SPDR XLF Sept. 26
Brooks Automation, Inc. BRKS Sept. 25
Texas Instruments, Inc. TXN Sept. 20
Palo Alto Networks, Inc. PANW Sept. 19
Mazor Robotics, Ltd. MZOR Sept. 19
Baozun, Inc. BZUN Sept. 19
Continential Resources, Inc. CLR Sept. 18
Silicon Laboratories, Inc. SLAB Sep. 15
2U, Inc. TWOU Sep. 15
Devon Energy Corp. DVN Sep. 15
Energy Select Sector SPDR XLE Sept. 14
Cimarex Energy Co. XEC Sept. 14
Urban Outfitters, Inc. URBN Sept. 14
Juno Therapeutics, Inc. JUNO Sept. 14
Cymabay Therapeutics, Inc. CBAY Sept. 13
Analog Devices, Inc. ADI Sept. 12
Ebay, Inc. EBAY Sept. 11
Valero Energy Corp. VLO Sept. 11
Home Depot, Inc. HD Sept. 7
Ross Stores, Inc. ROST Sept. 7
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. WMT Sept. 6
Rio Tinto plc RIO Aug. 28
FibroGen, Inc. FGEN Aug. 25
SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF XME Aug. 24
Tower Semiconductor, Ltd. TSEM Aug. 24
Prologis, Inc. PLD Aug. 24
ASML Holding N.V.