What a difference a day makes.
U.S. markets are back up Wednesday, after plunging the worst in more than five months in Tuesday's trading session. No, it wasn't that Tuesday's selloff was all that brutal -- the big S&P 500 only shed around 1% of its market value -- instead, investors got rattled because this market environment has left us so unaccustomed to any selling, really.
But, never fear, Mr. Market isn't testing investors' sensibilities again today (at least not yet).
All three of the major indices are back up as I write this afternoon, even if it's not by much.
Things are looking more active in some of this market's most active stocks. To figure out how to trade them, we're turning to the charts for a technical look.
So far, Home Depot (HD) - Get Report is having a great 2018. This home improvement retail has seen its share price charge more than 6.7% higher year-to-date, staying a step ahead of the rest of the S&P 500 in the process.
In reality, what we're seeing here is a continuation of the bullish trend that kicked off back at the end of the summer for Home Depot. Shares have been bouncing their way higher in a well-defined parabolic uptrend since last July, and the bottom of that uptrend level was successfully tested with yesterday's lows. Simply put, there's still a glut of buying pressure beneath Home Depot's price right now.
Relative strength, measured by the indicator down at the bottom of Home Depot's chart, adds some extra bullish confidence to this stock's price setup. The uptrend in our relative strength gauge signals that Home Depot is continuing to systematically outperform the rest of the broad market this winter.
Home Depot is a "buy the dips stock" as we head into February.
Meanwhile, Boeing Co. (BA) - Get Report continues to blastoff. The stock that led the entire Dow Jones Industrial Average higher in 2017 is continuing to outperform this year, up more than 5.5% Wednesday alone, after the firm's earnings beat Wall Street's expectations.
Boeing's rally has been nothing if not orderly. Shares have been bouncing their way higher in a well-defined uptrending channel, catching a bid on every successive test of trendline support. Shares of Boeing are hanging out near the upper-end of their trading range as we barrel toward February, and like Home Depot, this big stock is one worth buying on any corrections down near trendline support. If you're thinking about building a position in Boeing here, consider parking a protective stop on the other side of the 50-day moving average.
This big conglomerate's stock price has been "broken" for a while now, selling off almost half of its market value in the last 12 months. Now, as shares test 52-week lows, it remains a stock you should avoid.
GE violated a key level earlier this month when it broke through $17.50. From here, the downside potential likely hasn't fully played out. Caveat emptor.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the portfolios managed by the author were long HD.