The major U.S. indexes moved higher over the past week thanks to rising crude oil prices. Furthermore, during her testimony, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated that the economy is not in danger of overheating but that inflation remained stubbornly low and that the pace of monetary tightening would remain gradual. Economic indicators were mixed for the week, with retail sales declining an unexpected 0.2% and industrial production posting a better-than-expected 0.4% increase thanks to a strong mining sector.

International markets were mixed over the past week. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.96%; Germany's DAX 30 rose 1.96%; and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.18%. In Europe, the Eurozone's economic recovery likely accelerated during the second quarter, according to business surveys. The improvement could spark the European Central Bank to consider reducing stimulus measures, but inflation has remained surprisingly weak. In Asia, the Bank of Japan offered its most upbeat assessment of the country in over a decade and plans to maintain loose monetary policy until inflation surfaces. (See also: A Look at Fiscal and Monetary Policy.)

The S&P 500 SPDR (ARCA: SPY) rose 1.48% over the past week. After breaking out from R1 resistance at $244.37, the index moved to new all-time highs following a period of consolidation. Traders should watch for a breakout to R2 resistance at $246.94 or a breakdown lower to pivot point levels at around $242.16. Looking at technical indicators, the relative strength indicator (RSI) remains slightly overbought at 63.17, while the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) experienced a bullish crossover that could signal the beginning of an intermediate-term uptrend.

Technical chart showing the performance of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average SPDR (ARCA: DIA) rose 1.2% over the past week, making it the worst performing major index. After breaking out from R1 resistance at $215.70, the index reached upper trendline resistance at around $216.30. Traders should watch for a breakout to R2 resistance at $218.16 or a breakdown lower to pivot point levels at $212.61. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears overbought at 66.94, but the MACD may be on the verge of a bullish crossover in the near term. (For more, see: Here's Why Dow Jones ETFs Are Moving North.)

Technical chart showing the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average SPDR (DIA)

The PowerShares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) rose 3.1% over the past week, making it the best performing major index. After breaking out from the pivot point and 50-day moving average at around $139.36, the index reached R1 resistance at $142.12. Traders should watch for a breakout to upper trendline resistance and prior highs at around $144.00 or a move lower to retest the pivot point and 50-day moving average. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears moderately overbought at 60.37, but the MACD recently experienced a bullish crossover that could signal further upside. (See also: Why FANG Stocks Can Extend Their July Rally.)

Technical chart showing the performance of the PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ)

The iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (ARCA: IWM) rose 1.28% over the past week. After rebounding from the pivot point at $139.43, the index reached upper trendline resistance at $142.00. Traders should watch for a breakout from upper trendline resistance to R1 resistance at $143.17 or a move lower to retest the pivot point at $139.43. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 58.00, while the MACD could see a bullish crossover in the near term.

Technical chart showing the performance of the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM)

The Bottom Line

The major U.S. indexes moved higher over the past week thanks to rebounding crude oil prices and favorable commentary out of the Federal Reserve. Looking ahead, traders will be keeping a close eye on several economic indicators next week, including housing starts on July 19 and jobless claims on July 20. The market will also be keeping track of the evolving political drama that could have an adverse effect on equities. (For related reading, check out: Trump Budget and CBO Budget Differ Widely.)

Note: Charts courtesy of StockCharts.com. As of the time of writing, the author had no holdings in the securities mentioned.

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