NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Driven by lower crude oil prices, the Dow transportation average has become the year-to-date leader with a gain of 23% after setting an all-time high at 9116 on Thursday.
Strength gathered momentum as crude oil fell to levels not seen since September 2010. As a result, the lower price of a gallon of gasoline has resulted in found money in consumers' wallets that will be spent during this holiday season. This was reflected in a better than expected reading on retail sales for October, released Friday morning.
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Other major averages are also setting new highs, but the Dow Utility Average stalled on Nov. 5 after setting an all-time high at 609.57. Utilities are still up 20% year to date.
The Nasdaq is up 12% after setting a multiyear high at 4703 on Thursday.
The S&P 500 is up 10% after setting an all-time high at 2046 on Thursday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is the laggard up 6.5% after setting an all-time high at 17705 on Thursday.
With the focus shifting to trading based upon strong technical momentum investors should employ exit strategies for each stock or exchange-traded fund positions. Have a price target and enter a "good 'til canceled" limit order to book profits on strength to that level. Also have an exit strategy following a key weekly moving average. As momentum continues this moving average rises each week. Enter a sell-stop to lock in gains if the stock falls below this average.
Here are the key levels for five actively-traded exchange-traded funds.
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Avg ETF (DIA) ($176.44) is well above its 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages at $169.73 and $166.49, respectively. The Dow 30 ETF declined 8.7% from $173.31 on Sept. 19 to $158.27 on Oct. 15 then rallied 12% to an all-time intraday high at $176.98 on Thursday.
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