The major U.S. indexes moved higher over the past week, despite weak nonfarm payroll data on Friday morning. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 156,000 jobs added in August, which was lower than the 180,000 consensus forecast. While these figures were lower than expected, Wednesday's favorable second quarter GDP revision was enough of a positive to offset any negativity, with a better-than-expected 3% annualized rate.

International markets saw mixed results over the past week. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.22%; Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.21%; and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5%. In Europe, the market will be keeping a close eye on the European Central Bank's upcoming monetary policy meeting, where measures to reduce stimulus could be announced. In Asia, investors will be keeping an eye on North Korean aggression, particularly with its recent missile launch over Japan. (See also: The 3 Biggest Risks Faced by International Investors.)

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (ARCA: SPY) rose 1.34% over the past week. After breaking out from the 50-day moving average at $245.05, the index reached prior highs and trendlineresistance at around $247.50. Traders should watch for a breakout to R1 resistance at $250.32 or R2 resistance at $253.16 on the upside or a move lower to retest the 50-day moving average. Looking at technical indicators, the relative strength index (RSI) moved higher to 60.9, while the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) experienced a bullish crossover that could signal upside ahead.

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

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (ARCA: DIA) rose 0.86% over the past week, making it the worst performing major index. After rebounding from the 50-day moving average at $216.54, the index moved toward the middle of its price channel. Traders should watch for a breakout to R1 resistance at $221.86 or R2 and upper trendline resistance at $224.21 or a move lower to the pivot point at $218.80. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI rose to 61.98, but the MACD could see a near-term bullish crossover. (For more, see: Top 3 ETFs That Track the Dow.)

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

The PowerShares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) rose 2.83% over the past week, making it the best performing major index. After breaking out from the 50-day moving average at $142.12, the index moved toward its upper trendline resistance. Traders should watch for a breakout from R1 resistance at $148.21 to R2 resistance at $150.23 or a move lower to retest the pivot point at $144.20. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI moved higher to 62.98, but the MACD experienced a bullish crossover that could signal upside ahead.

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

The iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (ARCA: IWM) rose 2.66% over the past week. After breaking out from the pivot point at $138.68, the index moved beyond the 50-day moving average to the middle of its price channel. Traders should watch for a breakout to R1 resistance at $143.25 or upper trendline resistance at $145.50. A failure to break out could lead to a retest of the pivot point at $138.68. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI moved higher to 60.64, but the MACD experienced a bullish crossover that could signal upside ahead. (See also: IWM: iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF.)

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

The Bottom Line

The major indexes moved higher over the past week, and technical indicators predict more upside potential ahead. Next week, traders will be keeping an eye on several upcoming economic indicators, including factory orders on Sept. 5 as well as international trade data and jobless claims on Sept. 6. The market will also be monitoring developments involving North Korea and the U.S. debt ceiling debate. (For additional reading, check out: Trade Data Hints at a Shift in the Structure of the U.S. Economy.)

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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