U.S. equities are wrapping up the first quarter in grand style. The QQQ, which tracks the NASDAQ 100, is zeroing in on a 20% gain for the quarter, as I write this. We saw a huge rally in January 2023 and strong Januarys usually suggest a strong year ahead. Based on our Q1 performance, it’d be hard to argue at this point. There’s more technical work ahead, which is to be expected after the completion of a cyclical bear market. If you follow the “20% rule”, then the QQQ is now in a bull market, having moved up more than 20% from its low of 253.26 on October 13, 2022. That confirms the end of the 2022 bear market for the NASDAQ.
So, for now, let’s assume the worst is behind us and we’ll be looking at higher prices ahead. What stocks might we consider buying and why? Here are two that I like:
If the stock market does well this year, it’ll likely be due to the Fed hitting the brakes on interest rate hikes, promptly a lower 10-year treasury yield ($TNX) in the process. In that type of environment, I believe growth stocks will be where most of the leadership resides. Amazon.com (AMZN) certainly fits the bill. Technically, AMZN just broke out of a bullish inverse head & shoulders continuation pattern and broadline retailers ($DJUSRB) are finally showing relative strength:
There are a lot of positives here. Nothing has been confirmed yet, in terms of relative strength, but the improvement in 2023 is rather obvious. The February absolute and relative highs are key target levels. Moves above the February high would be extremely bullish.
NOW is breaking out of a similar bullish pattern, clearing key overhead price resistance. But does it sustain the move through today’s close? That’ll be what I’m watching, because if it does, I could see a nice run back to that February high. To the downside, NOW held up in the support zone between price and gap support and is “NOW” poised to run:
Average volume on NOW is 1.58 million over the past 50 trading days. Today’s volume is over 800,000 in the first 90 minutes, so we’re seeing confirming volume. It’s fairly simple – either today is going to be a meaningful breakout or it’s going to be a false breakout. It just depends on where we close. NOW was leading the software group ($DJUSSW) higher in January. It’s lagged badly during its recent consolidation, but the NOW relative strength line has begun turning higher again (blue circle) and a breakout could trigger much further relative strength ahead.
I’ll be hosting our latest market outlook on Saturday, April 15th at 10:00am ET. If you’re unsure of the bull vs. bear market debate and where we currently stand, mark your calendar for our event. It’ll be very educational and open to the public. We will be sending out invites to our entire FREE EB Digest community, along with our EarningsBeats.com members. Simply CLICK HERE and sign up with your name and email to save your spot!