The markets have started the week looking for any reason to move higher or lower. The S&P 500 (SPY ) remains at a key technical resistance area and neither the bulls nor bears have taken any full control this week.
The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ ) has been in a similar position but showing a little more strength than the other major indices. The QQQ remains above the 200-day moving average and is holding steady for now.
Financials (XLF ) continue to be a lagging area of the market again this week as technical traders are waiting for the next catalyst to push it over the 200-day moving average. For now, the sector remains in a choppy range just under the 200-day moving average, about 20% off their lows.
Retail (XRT ) has picked up some steam thanks to positive results from some big names in the retail space. The retail sector recently broke out of a small range but has been struggling to attract the bulls after the weakest retail sales numbers since the financial crisis.
Communication Services (XLC ) showed some strength early this week thanks in part to some of the FANG names. The sector remains at the upper end of a sideways range that it has been holding onto since mid-January. Technical traders note this as the likely sector to enjoy greater returns should the markets find the strength to move higher.
REITs (ICF ) continue to be a bull monster, refusing to pull back after a rapid, sharp run back to highs. This week all attempts to pull back have been immediately erased. In some cases the reversals took place intraday. For the year the sector remains one of the better performers, up over 15%.