After the worst rout in the better part of a decade, stocks are on track to post the best week of gains in six years today.
Welcome to the new market, same as the old market.
As February's selloff looks more and more like a normal bull market correction with the benefit of hindsight, investors are starting to look ahead to the potential for more upside in 2018. And there's plenty of evidence that stocks could keep on charging higher from here.
But, just like in 2017, there will still be winners and losers as the broad market indices push higher.
To figure out which big stocks are likely to fall into which category in the weeks and months ahead, we're turning to the charts for a technical look at three actively traded names.
Leading things off is aerospace giant Boeing Co. (BA) . Boeing ended 2017 as the best performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and it's gearing up for a repeat performance this year, up more than 21.6% since the calendar flipped to January.
But Boeing could be pointed even higher in the near term, as shares teeter on the edge of a key breakout level this week. Boeing is testing resistance at $360, a price level that's acted like a ceiling for shares for the last couple of months. Simply put, a breakout above that $360 level would trigger a brand new buy signal in this giant aerospace stock. That's good reason to keep a close eye on where shares of BA end up into Friday's close.
It may not be a "FAANG" (Facebook (FB) , Apple (AAPL) , Amazon (AMZN) , Netflix (NFLX) , Google (GOOGL) ) stock, but Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is still one of the best-looking bets in the tech sector right now. In spite of February's correction, Microsoft is holding onto a parabolic uptrend that actually kicked off about a year ago -- that consistent long-term trend makes Microsoft an attractive stock to own right now, especially as shares catch a bid off of support this week.
Relative strength adds some extra confidence to the Microsoft trade here. Our relative strength gauge has been holding onto an uptrend of its own all year long, signaling that Microsoft continues to systematically outperform the rest of the broad market here. As long as that uptrend remains intact, MSFT is a stock you should own.
Meanwhile, General Electric Co. (GE) continues to be a laggard. Shares of GE are down more than 13% year to date, vs. a 2.64% higher move in the rest of the S&P 500 over that exact same time frame. Simply put, GE's price action continues to look problematic for shareholders.
As I've said over and over again, GE may be a great company, but it's a terrible stock right now.
While shares are stabilizing here at these lower levels, the parabolic downtrend in GE remains in force for the time being. As a rule of thumb, it makes sense to steer clear of this industrial giant until buyers can muster the strength to bid shares up above their 50-day moving average. Until then, the downtrend remains in effect.