Stocks rallied on Friday, as investors reacted to better-than-expected monthly Nonfarm Payrolls number release. The broad stock market retraced its late February move down, while technology stocks reached new record highs. Is this a new leg within multi-year bull market or still just retracement following late January - early February 12% sell-off? Let's take a look at possible future scenarios.
Friday's trading session was very bullish, as the main U.S. stock market indexes gained 1.7-1.8%. Investors' sentiment improved following better-than-expected monthly Nonfarm Payrolls release. The S&P 500 index broke above its short-term consolidation and it got close to the late February local high of 2,789.15. The index currently trades 3.0% below January 26 record high of 2,872.87. Both Dow Jones Industrial Average and the technology Nasdaq Composite gained 1.8% on Friday. The latter reached new record high, as it broke above 7,500 mark again.
The nearest important level of resistance of the S&P 500 index is at 2,790-2,800, marked by the above-mentioned previous local high. The next possible level of resistance is at 2,830-2,840, marked by some late January local highs. On the other hand, support level is now at 2,740-2,750, marked by Friday's daily gap up of 2,740.45-2,751.54. The next level of support remains at 2,700-2,720, among others.
The S&P 500 index reached its record high on January 26. It broke below month-long upward trend line, as it confirmed uptrend's reversal. Then the broad stock market gauge retraced all of its January rally and continued lower. The index extended its downtrend on February 9, as it was almost 12% below the late January record high. We can see that stocks reversed their medium-term upward course following whole retracement of January euphoria rally. Then the market bounced off its almost year-long medium-term upward trend line, and it retraced more than 61.8% of the sell-off within a few days of trading. Is this just an upward correction or uptrend leading to new all-time highs? The market seems to be in the middle of two possible future scenarios. The bearish case leads us to February low or lower after breaking below medium-term upward trend line, and the bullish one means potential double top pattern or breakout above the late January high. Friday's trading session made the bullish case much more likely:
Positive Expectations Again
Expectations before the opening of today's trading session are bullish again, because the index futures contracts trade 0.3-0.5% higher vs. their Friday's closing prices right now. However, the main European stock market indexes have been mixed so far. Will Friday's rally continue today? The market may extend its short-term uptrend, but some profit-taking action seems more likely than on Friday. There will be no new important economic announcements today.
The S&P 500 futures contract trades within an intraday consolidation after Friday's rally. It is fluctuating along the level of 2,800. The market is now above its late February local high of around 2,790, as the futures contract trades higher than the S&P 500 index following series roll-over. The nearest important level of resistance is at around 2,805, marked by local high. The next resistance level is at 2,810-2,810, marked by some previous fluctuations. On the other hand, support level remains at 2,790-2,795, marked by short-term local lows. The support level is also at around 2,780. The futures contract is trading close to 2,800 mark, as the 15-minute chart shows: