The major U.S. indexes moved lower over the past week – except for small-cap stocks, which eked out a 0.01% gain. While the first quarter gross domestic product was unexpectedly revised higher, lower crude oil prices and weak tech stock performance pushed most of the major indexes down. Investors have become concerned over the tech sector's lofty valuations at a time when earnings have been somewhat disappointing.
International markets were also down. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.49%; Germany's DAX 30 dropped 3.21%; and Britain's FTSE 100 lost 1.61%. In Europe, rising European and U.K. bond yields pushed the euro and the pound higher, which has hurt stocks in these regions. In Asia, Chinese factory growth accelerated owing to stronger new orders, but analysts remain concerned over the country's excessive debt levels. (See also: Why China's Economic Data Flunks the Test.)
Index-tracking exchange-traded funds (ETF) followed suit.
The S&P 500 SPDR (ARCA: SPY) fell 0.55% over the past week. After reaching R2 resistance earlier this month, the index-tracking ETF dropped below its pivot point at $242.69. Traders should watch for a rebound to re-test R2 resistance at $245.10 or a move lower to the 50-day moving average at $240.03. Looking at technical indicators, the relative strength index (RSI) remains neutral at 50.47, while the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) has remained in a bearish downtrend following its crossover earlier this month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average SPDR (ARCA: DIA) fell 0.23% over the past week. After briefly reaching new highs earlier this month, the ETF slipped below its R2 resistance at $214.00. Traders should watch for a rebound to re-test upper trendline resistance at around $215.00 or a breakdown lower to R1 support at $211.81. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears relatively neutral at 57.13, but the MACD remains in a downtrend after its bearish crossover. (For more, see: Play These Inverse ETFs if Markets Turn Rocky.)
The PowerShares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) -- which tracks the Nasdaq-100 Index -- fell 2.64% over the past week. After breaking down from its price channel earlier this month, QQQ moved toward trendline resistance and S1 support at $137.12. Traders should watch for a breakdown to S2 support at $133.33 or a potential rebound toward the pivot point at $139.29. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears slightly oversold at 43.50, while the MACD remains in a strong downtrend following its crossover. (See also: The Nasdaq 100 Is Primed for a July Breakout.)
The iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (ARCA: IWM) rose 0.01% over the past week, making it the best performing major index tracker. After briefly hitting new highs earlier this month, IWM moved marginally lower to R1 support at $139.70 before rebounding this week. Traders should watch for a rebound to R2 and trendline resistance at $143.07 or a move lower to re-test R1 support on the downside. Looking at technical indicators, the RSI appears neutral at 54.24, while the MACD has been trending sideways since the middle of June.
The Bottom Line
Next week, traders will be closely watching several key economic indicators, including FOMC minutes on July 5, jobless claims on July 6 and the employment report on July 7. The market will also be keeping a close eye on the evolving political situation in the United States as the GOP targets the passage of healthcare reforms. (For additional reading, check out: American Health Care Act AKA 'Trumpcare' Explained.)
Note: Charts courtesy of StockCharts.com. As of the time of writing, the author had no holdings in the securities mentioned.