Investors are returning to the markets Monday with a little more anxiety than normal. Stocks just ended their worst week in more than two years Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding around 5.7% in five trading sessions.
That's a sharp contrast to the low-volatility, melt-up market that investors enjoyed for all of 2017.
But the real question many retirement investors are asking now is whether it's still wise to have big exposure to the stock market following two months of heightened volatility and surprise selling.
The good news is that your retirement account shouldn't fear the Dow right now - at least not yet.
To figure out what's really happening in the big market averages' price action, we're turning to the charts for a technical look at where the Dow is as we close in on April.
To do that, we're using the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Get Report) . This popular exchange-traded fund, better known by many investors as "Diamonds" is a $23 billion fund that tracks the Dow and provides an easy way to get exposure to the Dow 30.
This market may feel hard to decipher, but the good news is that you don't need to be an expert technical trader to figure out what's been going on in DIA's chart. Instead, the prevailing trend here is as straightforward as it gets.
DIA has been tracking up and to the right in the long-term, bouncing its way higher on every test of trendline support over the past year. Crucially, that trendline support level has remained intact here in 2018, holding up in spite of two tests of that price floor since the calendar flipped to January.
In other words, the big trend in the Dow is alive and well.
Momentum, measured by 14-day RSI up at the top of the DIA chart, adds some extra confidence to the idea that the uptrend is still "working" in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Our momentum gauge tested just above the 30 level on Friday, holding onto the level that's been a floor for shares on prior tests of DIA's uptrend.
As long as the Dow keeps on holding onto its uptrend, it remains a "buy the dips market" - and that makes DIA a "buy the dips ETF" for your retirement account. At this point, we have yet to see any evidence that the selling that the market has undertaken in 2018 is anything other than a normal bull market correction following a major run higher.
Your retirement account still has nothing to fear from the Dow.