By Michael Ashbaugh, MarketWatch
Technically speaking, the major U.S. benchmarks have taken flight to start April, rising amid statistically unusual bullish momentum.
In the process, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have knifed to record highs, while the Nasdaq Composite has staged a potentially consequential trendline breakout.
Before detailing the U.S. markets’ wider view, the S&P 500’s /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.07% hourly chart highlights the past two weeks.
As illustrated, the S&P has taken flight, extending a break atop the 4,000 mark.
The prevailing upturn has effectively tagged an intermediate-term target (4,085) detailed previously. (Tuesday’s early session high (4,086) has registered nearby.)
Tactically, gap support (4,020) is followed by the firmer breakout point (3,983).
Similarly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.29% has knifed to record territory.
The prevailing upturn punctuates a bull flag — the tight three-session range — also illustrated on the daily chart.
Tactically, the breakout point (33,227) closely matches the top of the gap (33,222), an area that pivots to support.
Against this backdrop, the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.37% has extended a rally atop the 50-day moving average.
The breakout places the January peak (13,729) under siege, an area better illustrated below.
Widening the view to six months adds perspective.
On this wider view, the Nasdaq has knifed to six-week highs, extending a sharp break atop trendline resistance.
Additional overhead matching the January peak (13,729) is currently under siege.
Slightly more broadly, the prevailing upturn punctuates an extended test of major support matching the 2020 peak (12,973). The successful retest preserves a bullish intermediate-term bias.
Looking elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to outperform.
As illustrated, the index has spiked to all-time highs, rising from a flag pattern underpinned by the 33,000 area. (Also see the hourly chart.)
More broadly, the prevailing upturn originates from a successful March retest of the breakout point (32,009). Bullish price action.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has also taken flight, knifing atop the 4,000 mark for the first time on record.
The prevailing upturn punctuates a successful March retest of the 50-day moving average.
The bigger picture
As detailed above, the major U.S. benchmarks have registered decisive April breakouts.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have knifed to all-time highs, while the Nasdaq Composite has staged a sharp trendline breakout.
Notably, the April spike has registered as statistically unusual, with each big three benchmark closing atop its 20-day Bollinger bands. Each index is vying Tuesday for the more reliably bullish consecutive closes atop the bands. (As always, closes atop the Bollinger bands signal an unusually strong two standard deviation breakout.)
Moving to the small-caps, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF /zigman2/quotes/209961116/composite IWM -0.40% has rallied less aggressively from the March low.
Still, the prevailing upturn places it back atop the 50-day moving average, and within striking distance of record highs.
Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF /zigman2/quotes/201764887/composite MDY -0.15% remains incrementally stronger.