BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- The book on April trading closed at 4:30 p.m. Eastern yesterday. All told, the S&P 500 ended the month 11.6 points higher than it started. That's a whopping 0.62% gain for anyone keeping score.
And it's almost identical to the essentially flat performance stocks achieved in March.
The big indices have effectively spun their wheels since the first week of March, consolidating sideways while investors got increasingly frustrated. Unless you owned a lot of Nasdaq names, that is -- the Nasdaq Composite fell 4.5% over that same stretch. That's a jarring drop for a big index that's been leading its peers for the last few years.
But if April showers bring May flowers, then maybe April corrections are laying the pavement for May gains. "New month, new market" has been par for the course in 2014. And plenty of individual names have offered some big opportunities since the calendar flipped to January.
So as May trading kicks off this morning, we're taking a technical look at attractive trades in five of Wall Street's biggest stocks.
If you're new to technical analysis, here's the executive summary.
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 five high-volume stocks to trade this week.