WINDERMERE, Fla. ( Stockpickr) -- The entire U.S. stock market is on the verge of a major breakout.The bears aren't going to want to hear this, but all three major U.S. indices are within a stone's throw of taking out their 52-week highs. To put things even more into perspective, this was the best first quarter for stocks since 1998. The market is defying all logic as it continues to rise in the face of so many negative headlines. The real winners so far have been the dip buyers, who continue to be rewarded with ridiculous profits. Not even skyrocketing crude oil prices or a new war raging in Libya has been able to knock this market down. And as a trend trader, I am going to stick with the trend and continue to stress that the probability for higher stock prices is high. The path of least resistance for the market is up. That doesn't guarantee it will go up, but it does give us an edge on how to play the market from here. Of course, having an edge doesn't mean throwing sound money management or protective downside hedges out the window. You need to be prepared for anything and keep your stops in place. The area to watch on the Dow Jones Industrial Average for an official breakout now is a close above 12,391. On the S&P 500, the breakout levels to watch are for a close above 1,332 and 1,344, and on the Nasdaq we also need a close above 2,800 and then 2,840. Related: Bullish Blue-Chip Technical Charts for April These are all important levels that market players must pay close attention to. If these levels are indeed taken out on the upside, then the market could trend significantly higher. Why? Simply because short-sellers are most likely going to increase bets in here hoping that the market tops out. If they're wrong, they'll be forced to cover those positions which will push stocks higher. If the bears are right, you'll know rather quickly because the market will stall out and you'll see leading sectors and stocks begin to selloff. Again, I think the probability for the bears being right here is low. And what's great about that is that once the market breaks out, you're going to see strong-performing equities also break out and soar higher. Trading breakouts is not a new game on Wall Street. This strategy has been pioneered by legendary traders such as William O'Neal, Stan Weinstein and Nicolas Darvas. Here's a look at a number of stocks that look poised to break out and trade significantly higher from current levels.
Market Vectors Coal ETF
Patriot CoalAnother coal stock that looks poised to break out is Patriot Coal ( PCX). This company is a producer of coal in the eastern U.S., with operations and coal reserves in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. Traders should watch for a move above $26.25 and $29.20 a share. If the stock can trade above those levels, then it could set up to make a run towards its next significant resistance level at $40 a share. Patriot Coal also shows up on the coal-stocks-with-upside list. It's one of the Bill Gates' Cascade Investment. To see more breakout candidates, including First Solar ( FSLR), Joy Global ( JOYG) and Synthesis Energy Systems ( SYMX), check out the Breakout Stocks of the Week portfolio on Stockpickr. -- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.
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