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Michael Ashbaugh

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Dec. 10, 2019, 12:30 p.m. EST

Bull trend intact: S&P 500 absorbs December whipsaw

Focus: Retail sector presses major resistance, Starbucks shows signs of life, XRT, SBUX, BMY, ON, JWN

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By Michael Ashbaugh, MarketWatch

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Looking elsewhere, the SPDR Trust S&P 500 has extended a rally from support around 307.00, detailed repeatedly. (See for instance, the Nov. 20 review.)

Here again, the December low (307.13) closely matched support. The prevailing upturn places the SPY’s record peak (315.48) within view.

Placing a finer point on the S&P 500, its late-year backdrop remains bullish and relatively straightforward.

From current levels, gap support (3,119) is followed by the 3,100 mark, an area that remains its first notable floor.

Delving deeper, the December low (3,070) marks notable support, a level underpinning last week’s bull hammer and small island reversal.

Slightly more broadly, the ascending 50-day moving average, currently 3,049, is followed by major support at the 3,028 breakout point. As detailed repeatedly, the S&P’s intermediate-term bias remains bullish barring a violation of this area.

Beyond technical levels, the U.S. sub-sector backdrop remains bullish, as detailed last week.

Also see: Charting a bearish December start, S&P 500 ventures under major support.

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 SPDR S&P Retail ETF is acting well technically. (Yield = 1.5%.)

As illustrated, the group has asserted a six-week range, digesting a rally to seven-month highs. The chart details a continuation pattern, recently underpinned by the 200- and 50-day moving averages.

Tactically, a well-defined floor matches the range bottom, circa 43.00, and the group’s intermediate-term bias remains bullish barring a violation.

More broadly, the group is well positioned on the two-year chart, pressing the 100- week moving average from a bullish continuation pattern. Notice the September break atop a one-year downtrend, signaling a trend shift that remains in play.

Moving to specific names, Starbucks Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX -2.95%  is a large-cap name showing signs of life. (Yield = 1.9%.)

Technically, the shares have recently cleared trendline resistance, and the 50-day moving average, raising the flag to a trend shift.

Underlying the upturn, its relative strength index (not illustrated) has tagged its best levels since August, improving the chances of incremental follow-through.

Tactically, the upturn punctuates an extended test of the 200-day moving average, currently 83.60, and Starbucks’ recovery attempt is intact barring a violation.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. /zigman2/quotes/202559280/composite BMY -3.97%  is a large-cap pharmaceutical name taking flight. (Yield = 2.9%.)

The shares initially spiked six weeks ago, staging a late-October gap higher after the company’s quarterly results.

More immediately, the shares have followed through, knifing to 52-week highs from an orderly one-month range. Though near-term extended, and due to consolidate, a pullback toward the breakout point (58.80) would offer an attractive entry.

On Semiconductor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202641012/composite ON -4.47%  is a well positioned large-cap name.

As illustrated, the shares have asserted a six-week range atop the major moving averages, digesting the late-October earnings-fueled breakout.

The prevailing upturn places a seven-month range top under siege. Tactically, a breakout attempt is in play barring a violation of near-term support, circa 21.20.

Also consider that a golden cross, or bullish 50-day/200-day moving average crossover, has signaled this week.

Finally, Nordstrom, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203902116/composite JWN -3.68%  is a large-cap retailer coming to life. (Yield = 3.8%.)

Late last month, the shares gapped atop the 50- and 200-day moving averages, rising after the company’s third-quarter results.

The subsequent tight range is a continuation pattern, positioning the shares to build on the initial strong-volume spike. Tactically, the top of the gap (36.40) has underpinned the prevailing range, and a breakout attempt is in play barring a violation.

Here again, 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.

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
Universal Health Services, Inc. UHS Dec. 9
Splunk, Inc. SPLK Dec. 9
Teekay Tankers Ltd. TNK Dec. 9
Concho Resources, Inc. CXO Dec. 9
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Inc. TSM Dec. 6
Macom Technology Solutions Holding, Inc. MTSI Dec. 6
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF XME Dec. 6
Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY Dec. 6
Burlington Stores, Inc. BURL Dec. 6
Merck & Co., Inc. MRK Dec. 5
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF EEM Dec. 5
Yamana Gold. Inc. AUY Dec. 5
VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX Dec. 3
Pan American Silver Corp. PAAS Dec. 3
ConocoPhillips Corp. COP Dec. 3
DXC Technology Co. DXC Dec. 3
Nuance Communications, Inc. NUAN Dec. 3
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR XLP Dec. 2
Scientific Games Corp. SGMS Dec. 2
Southwest Airlines Co. LUV Dec. 2
Shopify,Inc. SHOP Nov. 27
Microchip Technology, Inc. MCHP Nov. 27
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. LOW Nov. 27
iShares MSCI Japan ETF EWJ Nov. 26
Target Corp. TGT Nov. 26
MKS Instruments, Inc. MKSI Nov. 26
UnitedHealth Group, Inc. UNH Nov. 25
LogMeIn, Inc. LOGM Nov. 25
Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. SWK Nov. 25
Baidu, Inc. BIDU Nov. 22
International Game Technology IGT Nov. 22
Westlake Chemical Corp. WLK Nov. 22
Bank of America Corp. BAC Nov. 21
CyberArk Software Ltd. CYBR Nov. 21
Medtronic plc MDT Nov. 21
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. WPM Nov. 20
Okta, Inc. OKTA Nov. 20
Carvana Co. CVNA Nov. 20
Nevro Corp. NVRO Nov. 19
Kroger Co. KR Nov. 19
Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AGIO Nov. 18
Xerox Holding Corp. XRX Nov. 15
Aptiv, plc APTV Nov. 15
Materials Select Sector SPDR XLB Nov. 14
Allstate Corp. ALL Nov. 14
Adobe, Inc. ADBE Nov. 14
Cimarex Energy Co. XEC Nov. 14
Walt Disney Co. DIS Nov. 13
Zebra Technologies Corp. ZBRA Nov. 13
Steel Dynamics, Inc. STLD Nov. 13
Broadcom, Inc. AVGO Nov. 12
AstraZenaca, plc AZN Nov. 12
Health Care Select Sector SPDR XLV Nov. 11
United Parcel Service, Inc. UPS Nov. 11
Nucor Corp. NUE Nov. 11
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ARWR Nov. 11
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMD Nov. 7
AudioCodes, Ltd. AUDC Nov. 7
Caterpillar, Inc. CAT Nov. 6
SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF KRE Nov. 5
Alibaba Holdings Group, Ltd. BABA Nov. 5
U.S. Steel Corp. X Nov. 5
Alphabet, Inc. GOOGL Nov. 4
Northern Trust Corp. NTRS Nov. 4
Teledoc Health, Inc. TDOC Nov. 1
Salesforce.com, Inc. CRM Oct. 31
Qualcomm, Inc. QCOM Oct. 31
Citrix Systems, Inc. CTXS Oct. 31
Industrial Select Sector SPDR XLI Oct. 31
Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ Oct. 30
Centene Corp. CNC Oct. 30
KeyCorp KEY Oct. 30
Financial Select Sector SPDR XLF Oct. 29
Microsoft Corp. MSFT Oct. 29
Citigroup, Inc. C Oct. 28
Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. HLT Oct. 28
SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT Oct. 28
Generac Holdings, Inc. GNRC Oct. 25
RingCentral, Inc. RNG Oct. 24
United Technologies Corp. UTX Oct. 23
Nvidia Corp. NVDA Oct. 22
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. TSEM Oct. 21
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC Oct. 21
Tesla, Inc. TSLA Oct. 21
iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF EWU Oct. 18
Garmin, Ltd. GRMN Oct. 18
Fastenal Co. FAST Oct. 17
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings KNX Oct. 17
Facebook, Inc. FB Oct. 16
Celanese Corp. CE Oct. 16
Qorvo, Inc. QRVO Oct. 16
Skyworks Solutions, Inc. SWKS Oct. 15
Jabil Inc. JBL Oct. 15
TJX Companies, Inc. TJX Oct. 8
PriceSmart, Inc. PSMT Oct. 8
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. CMTL Oct. 4
Seattle Genetics, Inc. SGEN Oct. 1
Emerson Electric Co. EMR Sept. 30
PPG Industries, Inc. PPG Sept. 30
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. TSM Sept. 27
RH RH Sept. 27
CDW Corp. CDW Sept. 27
Sony Corp. SNE Sept. 26
Nike, Inc. NKE Sept. 26
Toll Brothers, Inc. TOL Sept.25
Synaptics, Inc. SYNA Sept.25
Group 1 Automotive, Inc. GPI Sept.25
Intel Corp. INTC Sept. 18
Keysight Technologies, Inc. KEYS Sept. 18
Packaging Corp. of America PKG Sept. 18
JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM Sept. 16
iShares Japan ETF EWJ Sept. 13
VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF SMH Sept. 11
Kansas City Southern KSU Sept. 10
CVS Corp. CVS Sept. 5
Lam Research Corp. LRCX Sept. 3
iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF ITB Aug. 27
Apple, Inc. AAPL Aug. 21
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF XHB Aug. 21
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. RS Aug. 21
XPO Logistics, Inc. XPO Aug. 20
Itron, Inc. ITRI Aug. 19
Cirrus Logic CRUS Aug. 16
Builders FirstSource, Inc. BLDR Aug. 16
D.R. Horton, Inc. DHI July 31
Teradyne, Inc. TER July 30
Franco-Nevada Corp. FNV July 18
Owens Corning OC July 11
Inphi Corp. IPHI July 8
Lululemon Athletica, Inc. LULU June 19
Ross Stores, Inc. ROST June 14
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR XLP Mar. 28
iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF IYR Mar. 13
Costco Wholesale Corp. COST Mar. 6
Walmart, Inc. WMT Feb. 22
Microsoft Corp. MSFT Feb. 22
Procter & Gamble Co. PG Feb. 8
Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT Jan. 25
Utilities Select Sector SPDR XLU Oct. 25
/zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 78.29
-2.38 -2.95%
Volume: 17.12M
Feb. 27, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
25.59
Dividend Yield
2.09%
Market Cap
$94.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
$86,863
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202559280/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 59.58
-2.46 -3.97%
Volume: 20.62M
Feb. 27, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
27.12
Dividend Yield
3.02%
Market Cap
$140.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$968,283
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202641012/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 17.54
-0.82 -4.47%
Volume: 8.84M
Feb. 27, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
34.79
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.55 billion
Rev. per Employee
$164,658
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203902116/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 35.04
-1.34 -3.68%
Volume: 4.87M
Feb. 27, 2020 6:30p
P/E Ratio
10.20
Dividend Yield
4.22%
Market Cap
$5.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
$214,324
loading...

Michael Ashbaugh writes technical analysis for MarketWatch and is editor of MarketWatch's "The Technical Indicator" newsletter.

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