Major U.S. indices moved higher over the past week, as of Thursday’s close, after favorable employment and manufacturing data sent shares in many stocks higher. ADP’s survey showed that 191,000 jobs were added last month and February’s numbers were revised higher to 178,000. Traders will be closely watching Friday’s report for confirmation of the improved employment outlook. Two positive reports on U.S. manufacturing also helped boost hopes of a stronger recovery in spring.

International markets followed U.S. markets higher across the board. Japan’s Nikkei 225 increased 1.79%; Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 0.51%; and Germany’s DAX 30 increased 0.43%, as of Thursday’s U.S. close. In Asia, Japan and China both reported a rough start to the year with lackluster industrial production. In Europe, stocks have moved higher amid hopes of a recovery, especially in Greece and Italy, but tangible results of an economic recovery have yet to be seen in many parts.

The SPDR S&P 500 (ARCA:SPY) ETF rose 1.67% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close. After a period of sideways volatility, the index surpassed its prior highs and approached its R1 resistance at 189.71. Traders should watch for a breakout from these levels towards R2 resistance at 192.41 or a move lower to its pivot point at 186.33. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears modestly overbought at 62.29, but the MACD recently experienced a bullish crossover.

The SPDR S&P 500 (ARCA:SPY) ETF rose 1.67% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (ARCA:DIA) ETF rose 1.53% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close. After breaking above its prior highs, the index stands just below its R1 resistance at 165.88. Traders should watch for a breakout from these levels towards its R2 resistance at 167.48 or a move back down to its pivot point at 162.98. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears modestly overbought with a 63.63 reading, but the MACD experienced a bullish crossover.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (ARCA:DIA) ETF rose 1.53% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close.

The PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq:QQQ) ETF rose 1.93% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close. After rebounding from its lower trend line, the index moved just past its 50-day moving average and pivot point. Traders should watch for a breakout from these levels towards its R1 resistance at 90.41 or a retest of its lower trend line support at around 87.50. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 49.89, but the MACD could be approaching a bullish crossover.

The PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq:QQQ) ETF rose 1.93% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close.

The iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE:IWM) ETF rose 2.48% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close. After rebounding from its lower trend line, the index moved past its pivot point at 116.77 before retracing slightly. Traders should watch for a breakout from these levels towards R1 resistance at 119.84 or a move lower to the 50-day moving average at 115.27. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI is neutral at 51.93, but the MACD could be approaching a bullish crossover.

The iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE:IWM) ETF rose 2.48% higher over the past week as of Thursday’s close.

Summary

The major U.S. indices moved higher over the past week, as of Thursday’s close, as many of them reached new all-time highs. While RSI levels appear relatively modest, several MACD crossovers could suggest a bullish run ahead. Traders will be watching for a number of economic indicators due out over the next week, including unemployment data on April 4th, FOMC minutes on April 9th, jobless claims on April 10th, and Producer Price Index (“PPI”) data due out on April 11th.

Charts courtesy of StockCharts.com.

 

Disclosure - At the time of writing, the author did not own shares of any stock mentioned in this article.

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