Traders Focus on Ukraine, Technicals

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks could extend a move higher this week as investors turn their focus from the economy and corporate results toward Ukraine and technical analysis.

Only February retail sales and a preliminary reading on March consumer sentiment report are on the economic-data docker this week as investors will wait for next week's Federal Reserve meeting. And only two companies in the S&P 500 -- Urban Outfitters (URBN) and Dollar General (DG) -- will report results this week.

The biggest news is still the Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel scolded Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend, saying the planned referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia violated Ukraine's constitution.

Putin said last week that Russia has the right to invade Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians there and that Russia's parliament was moving toward a ruling that would make it easier to annex territory inhabited by Russian speakers.

If tensions in Ukraine escalates this week, global markets may decline, although technical aspects of stock market trading could keep SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) and PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) elevated. All three indexes consolidated toward the end of last week, and built strong support levels under current prices. On Friday, a better-than-expected jobs report lifted stocks.

Meanwhile, iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) has risen recently on investor anxiety, completing a double-top pattern, and it could break lower.

Lastly, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) continues to consolidate at yearly highs, and will most likely wait till more information comes out of Russia or till the Fed's policy decision next week before making a definitive move higher or lower.

If both iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond and SPDR Gold Shares break to the downside in coming weeks, buying pressure should resume in U.S. equities and propel markets to new highs.

SPY Chart SPY data by YCharts

At the time of publication, the author had no position in any of the funds mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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