Stocks managed to snap their losing streak on Thursday as investors digested a plateful of encouraging economic data. As the opening bell kicked off trading on Wall Street, better-than-expected jobless claims data welcomed back the bulls after the figure came in at 369,000 versus the previous reading of 391,000. The list of good news only grew as the day progressed, with durable goods orders increasing by 9.9% versus the previous reading of -13.2%, while pending home sales also jumped by 0.3% versus the previous reading, which showed a contraction of 2.6% [see Free 7 Simple & Cheap All-ETF Portfolios].
Investors will keep their attention focused on the homefront tomorrow as earnings season continues, although the latest U.S. GDP report may steal the headlines. As such, our chart to watch for the day is the State Street Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA, A-), which may experience volatile trading following the reaction to the most recent GDP revision. Analysts are expecting U.S. economic growth to come in at 1.7%, marking a modest improvement from the previous reading of 1.3% [see 101 ETF Lessons Every Financial Advisor Should Learn].
DIA appears to have completed a healthy correction as shares have ceased to drop and are keeping afloat above support at the $130 level. Given this ETF’s steady and strong longer-term uptrend (blue line), this pullback presents itself as an attractive opportunity for bullish investors to get on board. However, what’s worrisome is that a steeper correction may be developing if DIA has in fact completed the “triple top” pattern (red line); notice how this ETF failed to summit $136 a share throughout September, later again on October 5, and most recently on October 18, 2012 [see our ETF Technical Trading FAQ].
Because this ETF has been posting lower-highs and lower-lows since hitting $136.48 a share on September 14, 2012, we advise more conservative investors to wait and observe this ETF as it attempts to get back over the $132 level before jumping in long [see also 3 ETF Trading Tips You Are Missing].
A bullish GDP surprise can certainly lift the entire market; in terms of upside, DIA has immediate resistance at $132 a share followed by the $136 level. On the other hand, a worrisome economic growth reading can inspire further profit taking on Wall Street; in terms of downside, this ETF has immediate support at $130 a share followed by the $128 level. As always, investors of all experience levels are advised to use stop-loss orders and practice disciplined profit-taking techniques.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.