The major U.S. indexes moved sharply higher over the past week despite a couple of concerning economic indicators. On Wednesday, the Census Bureau reported an unexpected 0.3% drop in January retail sales along with a sharp downward revision in December's figures. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) also rose an unexpected 0.5% month over month and 2.1% year over year, which sparked concerns that the Federal Reserve could hike rates more quickly.

International markets were also higher over the past week. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.55%; Germany's DAX 30 rose 2.58%; and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 2.86%. In Europe, industrial production rose more than expected in December, which helped power the fastest economic growth rate in a decade. In Asia, investors have been expressing increasing concern over growing corporate and household debt levels that could derail the region's growth.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (ARCA: SPY) rose 4.44% over the past week. After falling to S2 support at $259.41 earlier this month, the index rose past S1 and 50-day moving average resistance levels at $271.81 this week. Traders should watch for a breakout to the pivot point at $278.64 or a breakdown to retest S2 support on the downside. Looking at technical indicators, the relative strength index (RSI) rose to neutral levels of 51.62, while the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) could see a near-term bullish crossover following its bearish crossover in late January. (See also: 12 Stocks to Buy for Market's Upturn: Goldman Sachs.)

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

The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (ARCA: DIA) rose 4.09% over the past week, making it the worst performing major index. After briefly touching S2 support at $238.70 earlier this month, the index rebounded to its S1 and 50-day moving average resistance at $250.88. Traders should watch for a breakout to the pivot point at $257.49 or a breakdown to retest S2 support levels on the downside. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 51.19, but the MACD could see a near-term bullish crossover.

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

The PowerShares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) rose 5.88% over the past week, making it the best performing major index. After briefly reaching reaction lows at around $153.00, the index rebounded past its 50-day moving average and S1 resistance levels to the pivot point at $165.51. Traders should watch for a breakout to retest prior highs at around $171.00 or for a move lower to retest S1 support and pivot point levels on the downside. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 54.34, but the MACD could see a bullish crossover. (For more, see: Stock Investors Should Fasten Seat Belts for More Plunges.)

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

The iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (ARCA: IWM) rose 4.58% over the past week. After briefly touching its 200-day moving average support at $144.91, the index rebounded past S2 resistance levels to S1 and 50-day moving average resistance at $153.66. Traders should watch for a breakout to the pivot point at $156.48 or a breakdown to retest S2 support at $148.32 on the downside. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 51.53, but the MACD could see a near-term bullish crossover.

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

The Bottom Line

The major indexes moved higher over the past week, with neutral RSI levels and potential MACD crossovers signaling a new intermediate-term bullish uptrend. Next week, traders will be closely watching several key economic indicators, including existing home sales on Feb. 21 and jobless claims on Feb. 22. The market will also be keeping a close eye on evolving political risks both in the United States and abroad. (For additional reading, check out: Why Stock Market's Big Rally Won't Last.)

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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