Both the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 achieved their sixth straight week of gains. On Friday, like most sessions this past week, the major indices traded in a narrow range until the final hour, when buyers emerged sending the averages to new highs.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) rose 2.2% on news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) had purchased $40.1 million of the oil giant’s stock as of Sept. 30. And FedEx (FDX) rose 1.6% after admissions by Dan Loeb, George Soros and John Paulson that funds they managed had bought that stock.
But it was Federal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellen’s comments that sent the market north. Even a lackluster economic report on Friday from the New York Empire State Manufacturing Index didn’t dull the impact of her testimony.
At Friday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 85 points to 15,962, the S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,798, and the Nasdaq gained 13 points at 3,986. The NYSE traded 3.2 billion shares (795 million primary market), and the Nasdaq crossed 1.8 billion shares (514 million primary market). Advancers exceeded decliners on both exchanges by about 2.2-to-1.
The S&P 500 broke resistance (now support) at 1,775 and ran to within 2 points of the round number of 1,800. The breakout was accompanied by a MACD buy signal and support from the intermediate trendline (red dash) and the 20-day moving average (green line).
Like the S&P 500, the Dow industrials broke from the top of their bull channel and resistance (now support). Immediate support is now at 15,823. MACD continues in bullish territory following a strong buy signal in October.
The Nasdaq broke to a new nominal high, as well, with support now at 3,965. MACD is very close to a buy signal, and one plus-day should trigger it.
Conclusion: There is no doubt that all of the major indices have finally broken the shackles of the resistance that has dominated their charts for the past six months. Clean breakouts exist across the board with the next resistance for each index at a round number: 1,800 for the S&P 500, 16,000 for the Dow, and 4,000 for the Nasdaq.
The resistance at round numbers has little actual technical validity but could have a psychological impact. When round numbers are pierced, they often add a propellant of volume created by headlines, which can temporarily turn a sluggish market higher.
Just imagine the impact headlines like “Dow Breaks 16,000,” “S&P 500 Tops 1,800,” and “Nasdaq Slices Through 4,000” could have on the same day. With such a possibility, it is far better to be long than wrong.
Today’s Trading Landscape
To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.
For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.