BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- With broad market indexes beginning to consolidate right over a key support level to start the last full week in March, it looks like the bulls are back in town -- finally. Investor sentiment seems to be reflecting that as well. The Consensus Bullish Sentiment reading hit 60% last week, up from 50% just three weeks ago, a sign that suggests that the majority of investors see the market heading higher in 2010.But don't get too comfortable with the sentiment numbers. All too often, they turn out to be a great contrarian indicator. Instead, let's take a look at three stocks that could be setting up for a good technical trade this week. Technical analysis is a way for investors to quantify qualitative factors such as investor psychology based on a stock's chart patterns and trends. Once the domain of cloistered trading teams on Wall Street, technicals can help top traders make consistently profitable trades and can aid fundamental investors in better planning their stock execution. But sometimes investors don't know where to start. So every week, Stockpickr takes a look at stocks that could be staging a technical move soon and compiles a portfolio of promising Technical Setups. These plays are among the best-inclined to make a tradable breakout this week. Here's a look at this week's stocks.
Medical device maker Covidien ( COV) is catching part of the post-health care bill bounce that's bolstered many health-related stocks to start the week. That's in spite of the fact that with the new health care reform bill comes an excise tax on Covidien's medical device products that kicks in starting in 2012.
Florida real estate developer St. Joe ( JOE) has made it through the real estate bubble and the financial storm that ensued. Now investors are ready to have their patience rewarded. If the stock can stage a breakout, they may see gains sooner rather than later.
Throughout the recession, for-profit education companies provided investors with a bastion of profitability as consumers sought out ways to differentiate themselves in an increasingly challenging job market. As the economy emerges, and credit markets loosen, for-profit education should continue to thrive.