Major U.S. indices moved higher over the past week, as of Thursday’s close, after durable goods orders jumped more than expected in March. The news follows favorable industrial production, retail sales, and employment data that helped boost investor confidence after a rough first quarter of the year. First quarter GDP growth was estimated to be around 1.5% after a 2.6% growth rate in the fourth quarter of last year due in part to abnormally cold winter weather.

International markets were somewhat mixed over the past week. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.92%; Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.17%; and Germany’s DAX 30 jumped 1.48%, as of Thursday’s U.S. close. In Europe, the Markit survey found that business activity across the Eurozone has reached a three-year high. In Asia, investors remain concerned with Japan’s widening trade deficit, while China’s PMI remained below levels that indicate economic expansion at 48.0.

The SPDR S&P 500 (ARCA:SPY) ETF jumped 0.76% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing. After jumping above its pivot point at 186.33, the index remains below its R1 resistance at 189.71 in the middle of its price channel. Traders should watch for a move higher to the upper trend line just below R2 resistance at 192.41 or a move lower to its 50-day moving average at 185.41. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 56.94 and the MACD crossed over higher.

The SPDR S&P 500 (ARCA:SPY) ETF jumped 0.76% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (ARCA:DIA) ETF jumped 0.52% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing. After breaking above its pivot point at 162.85, the index moved close to its R1 resistance at 165.73 and upper trend line. Traders should watch for a move to its upper trend line or a move down to its 50-day moving average at 162.41. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 57.49 while the MACD recently experienced a bullish crossover.

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (ARCA:DIA) ETF jumped 0.52% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing.

The PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq:QQQ) ETF jumped 1.61% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing. After moving back above its S1 support at 85.66, the index stands at a key 50-day moving average of 88.44. Traders should watch for a breakout towards its R1 resistance at 90.41 or a move back down to S1 support at around 85.66. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI remains neutral at 52.01 while the MACD recently experienced a bullish crossover.

The PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq:QQQ) ETF jumped 1.61% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing.

The iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE:IWM) ETF jumped 0.62% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing. After rebounding from S2 support at 110.19, the index moved past its S1 support and towards its 50-day moving average at 115.76. Traders should watch for a breakout from these levels to its pivot point at 116.77 or a move down to retest its S2 support and lower trend line. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI remains neutral at 47.23 while the MACD experienced a bullish crossover.

The iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE:IWM) ETF jumped 0.62% over the past week as of Thursday’s closing.

Summary

The major U.S. indices moved higher this week. While many RSI readings seem neutral, MACD indicators suggest a potential bullish trend ahead. Traders will be watching a number of key economic reports over the coming week, including GDP data and FOMC minutes on April 30th; jobless claims, personal incomes, and ISM manufacturing data on May 1st; and, employment data on May 2nd.

Charts courtesy of StockCharts.com.

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