Buying pressures continue to reign supreme on Wall Street as economic data releases are not giving the bulls many reasons to back off. Corporate earnings took a backseat on Wednesday as better-than-expecting housing and employment data made its way to center stage; weekly jobless claims came in at 335,000 versus the previous reading of 372,000 marking a healthy improvement in the domestic labor market. To top it off, December’s housing starts figure came in at 954,000, blowing past estimates of 883,000 as well as last month’s reading of 851,000 [see ETF Technical Trading FAQ].
Investors will keep their eyes on the homefront today as earnings results continue to roll in, while the latest consumer sentiment report should offer valuable insights as well. With major equity indexes sitting on hefty gains thus far in the new year, our ETF to watch for the day will be the well-known SPDR S&P 500 (SPY, A), which will look to fight off profit-taking pressures and continue its impressive run-up. Analysts are expecting for January’s University of Michigan consumer sentiment figure to come in at 74.2, marking a solid improvement over last month’s reading of 72.9 [see 101 High Yielding ETFs For Every Dividend Investor].
The S&P 500 ETF is sitting at a five-year high as upbeat economic reports provided the much-needed fundamental catalyst to push SPY over resistance at the $147 level. From a technical perspective, SPY’s recent price action is very bullish considering that this ETF has been able to hold its gap from the start of the year while also managing to break above a key resistance level, which it previously failed to summit during September and October of 2012 [see ETF Call And Put Options Explained].
Entering into a long position at current levels is attractive given the clear bullish momentum behind this ETF; however, we advise setting a tight stop-loss around $147-$145 a share, as a short-term correction is long overdue and would actually be quite healthy if this run-up is to continue [see How To Swing Trade ETFs].
If the latest consumer sentiment report continues the streak of good news on Wall Street, equity markets may continue their trek higher; in terms of upside, there is no clear cut resistance level ahead of SPY, although profit-taking pressures may resurface as it nears $150 a share. On the other hand, disappointing consumer data can just as easily open the doors for the bears on Wall Street who have been eagerly waiting at the gates; in terms of downside, SPY has near-term resistance around $147 a share, followed by $145 a share, followed by major support at the $140 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.