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Tickers in this Article: CBE, UTX, DHR, MMM
Major indexes surged on March 13, 2012, as the stock market continues to advance in a strong uptrend. Conglomerates have been one of the strongest sectors over the last week, leading this thrust higher along with Financials. Within the Conglomerate space there are several stocks worth keeping an eye on. These stocks advanced aggressively on March 13, clearing resistance, and the question becomes "What's next?"

United Technologies Corp (NYSE:UTX) surged aggressively on March 9, clearing resistance at $85 and signaling an advance to $89. The stock has been moving within a channel higher since October, and this target corresponds to the upper band of that trend channel. Beyond that target is a resistance area between $90 and the 52-week high at $91.83. Having broken through $85, and closing on March 13 well above it, $85 should now act as support, with primary support at $81. A drop below $81 indicates a move down to test the trendline at $77.50. (For related reading, see The Utility Of Trendlines.)

Cooper Industries (NYSE:CBE) jumped 4.64% on March 13, clearing the range it had been in for over a month. The stock is approaching $65, a level which had a lot of significance in 2011. The stocks struggled at the level before jumping from $65 to $70 in a single day back in April. Ultimately the move to $70 was very short-lived as the stock couldn't hold and the fell back below $65. Going forward this is likely to be a pivotal level again. A rise above it indicates a test of the 52-week high at $70. Minor support is $61.25 followed by $58.74.

Danaher Corp (NYSE:DHR) is rapidly approaching it's 52-week high at $56.09 after breaking through resistance at $53.70. The breakout provides a target of $56, which is in such close proximity to the 52-week high that it could attract some additional buying interest. In the event the stocks continues to advance beyond the high, $57 is the next target. Since October, pullbacks have respected the upward sloping trendline which currently crosses at $52. Therefore, a drop below $52 is a signal further declines may be coming. Support is also at $53.70 (former resistance) and $51.

3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) also managed to clear resistance at $88.50 on March 13, signaling an advance to $92. 3M has been weaker than other stocks mentioned, taking on a much flatter trajectory. The stock is also within close proximity of resistance at $90. That said, the stock has moving sideways throughout February and recently had a move to the downside. The stock quickly recovered though as buyers stepped in, putting momentum back on the upside. While it remains uncertain if the stock can hold above support at $88.50, if it can then the uptrend will continue. 3M currently remains well below the 52-week high at $98.19. Primary support is at $84.80.

The Bottom Line
Conglomerates have been one of the strongest sectors over the last week. Having cleared resistance upside momentum is on the side of these stocks, as well as the broader market. But while the trends remain up and the outlook positive for the markets, risk should always be controlled. A drop below support points to potential further declines, but until that occurs, the trends remain higher. (For more, see Introduction To Technical Analysis Price Patterns.)

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At the time of writing, Cory Mitchell did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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