Equity markets turned higher on Thursday as an upbeat housing report helped to restore investors’ confidence and continue the bull-run from earlier in the week. Major equity indexes finished in green territory, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average leading the way, as investors digested better-than-expected pending home sales data; the figure came in at 4.1% versus the previous reading of 0.4%. Amidst the optimism, gold climbed higher as well and futures prices for the precious yellow metal settled around $1,660 an ounce as the trading session drew to a close [see also 5 ETF Experts You Need To Follow On Twitter].
Earnings season will take a backseat in the headlines tomorrow as investors react to the latest U.S. GDP data. As such, our ETF to watch for the day is the ultra-popular State Street SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), which may see an increase in trading volumes depending on which way the numbers sway the market [see also Five Questions To Ask When Buying An ETF]. Analysts are expecting for economic growth to come in at 2.7% versus the previous reading of 3.0%.
SPY appears to have resumed its longer-term uptrend, seeing as how this ETF held support following its most recent correction; notice how SPY held above the $135 level on 4/10 and most recently on 4/23/2012. This is significant because SPY has major support around $135 a share, seeing as how it held above this level when it corrected previously on 3/6/2012 before breaking through the $137.50 level [see SPY Technicals].
This ETF has bounced back successfully from the $136 level, although it may still encounter resistance as it nears $142 a share, seeing as how it has yet to close above this price level [see also Seven Reasons To Hate Gold As An Investment].
Assuming that investors react positively to the latest GDP report, equity markets are poised to continue their run higher. In terms of upside, SPY has resistance near $142 a share. On the other hand, if economic growth data paints a pessimistic outlook, investors may find themselves pulling the sell trigger. In terms of downside, SPY has support at $138 a share followed by major support at the $135 level. As always, investors of all experience levels are advised to use stop-loss orders and practice disciplined profit taking techniques.
Disclosure: Long SPY May Call.