Consumer Discretionary ETFs, Apple Send Bullish Signals

Although U.S. stocks fell Friday after a disappointing June employment report, one technical analyst sees encouraging signs for the market in leader Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and exchange-traded funds indexed to the consumer discretionary sector.

SPDR Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Fund (NYSE: XLY  ) has "provided early leadership over recent years," said Tarquin Coe at Investors Intelligence in a subscriber note Friday. (See "Target Sales, ADP Report Fire Up Retail ETFs.")

"It led out of the bear market lows in 2008," he wrote. "In December last year it deteriorated on a relative basis -- months ahead of the S&P 500 correcting. Recent trading shows XLY breaking out to new all-time price highs, taking out its early May high last week. The relative chart against the S&P 500 is also making new highs, eclipsing December's peak. Today is seeing a pull-back to test prior resistance from May and that level should now offer support.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost about 100 points Friday after the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added only 18,000 jobs last month, well below expectations. (See "Stock ETFs Fall, Treasuries Rally After Dismal Jobs Report.")

"This morning's June jobs report was awful," Coe said. "However, equity indexes are off their morning lows and are now only down around 1%. Given the recent run one would expect carnage. That suggests that the internal health of the market is resilient and that the bounce since the late June low is for real rather than just a freak oversold bounce."

Also Friday, closely watched Apple shares scratched out gains in the face of a down market.

"Today the stock is in the green and outperforming, just as it has been doing for the past week," the analyst said. "Price action snoozed since February and in doing so weaker holders would have moved on. An indication of that is the perkier action since the 200-day exponential moving average was tested."

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