BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Where are stocks headed from here? That's the $16.7 trillion question this month as earnings season ramps up and more investors give this rally a good, hard look.
Yes, that's right, U.S. stocks are in rally mode right now. The S&P 500 has moved 16% higher over the course of 2012, more than 14% of it since the start of June. For most investors, it just doesn't feel like it.
There are a couple of reasons for that, of course. First, investor anxiety over stocks is extremely high right now; and with many people underweighted in equities, many of the folks who've missed this rally didn't realize the extent of the uptrend in stocks. That fact is sending many fund managers in catch-up mode to end the year, as the pros try to make up lost ground between their performance and the performance of their benchmarks; expect accelerated institutional stock buying this quarter as a result.But with the month-long slump that the S&P has been on, does it still make sense to buy stocks right now? I'm about to show you why it does -- and why five big names look like strong technical trades this week. If you're new to technical analysis, here's the executive summary. >>5 Big Trades From the Financial Sector Technicals are a study of the market itself. Since the market is ultimately the only mechanism that determines a stock's price, technical analysis is a valuable tool even in the roughest of trading conditions. Technical charts are used every day by proprietary trading floors, Wall Street's biggest financial firms, and individual investors to get an edge on the market. And research shows that skilled technical traders can bank gains as much as 90% of the time. Every week, I take an in-depth look at big names that are telling important technical stories. Here's this week's look at the charts of five high-volume stocks to trade for gains.