BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- The broad market isn't off to a very good start this week. As of Wednesday's close, the big S&P 500 index has already given back about half of its 2015 gains since Monday's open. Sure, those gains weren't much to speak of to begin with, but in a market where every basis point counts, a 1.3% correction is pretty painful.
The good news is that, despite a lackluster market, some corners of the market are actually performing well. In fact, some of Wall Street's biggest stocks actually look ready to break out right now.
To sniff them out, we're turning to the charts for a technical look at five big stocks to trade for gains.
First, a little on the technical toolbox we're using here: 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 big stocks to trade this week.
Up first on the list is McKesson (MCK). Like other healthcare sector names, McKesson has been a solid performer in 2015, rallying 7.4% since the calendar flipped to January. Make no mistake: In this market, a 7.4% gain counts as a "rally." But don't worry if you've missed the move so far. MCK looks ready to kick off a second leg higher in May.
McKesson is currently forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish price setup that's formed by horizontal resistance above shares (in this case at $231) and uptrending resistance to the downside. Basically, as this health stock bounces in between those two technically important price levels, it's been getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakout above $231 resistance when that happens, we've got a buy signal.
For McKesson, relative strength is the side-indicator to watch right now. Our relative strength line has been in an uptrend going all the way back to last summer, an indication that MCK isn't just moving higher, it's also outperforming the rest of the market right now. As long as that uptrend in relative strength remains intact, MCK should keep on beating the S&P.