Stock Market Preparing Investors for Second Week of Gains in 2012

ETFs and stocks get off to good start for 2012

Major U.S. stock market indexes started 2012 with gains as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1.6% and the financial sector (NYSEARCA:IYF) added 2.4% to lead markets higher.

The first five days of January are very important as in years since 1950 when the first five days have been winners, the rest of the year has logged gains 87% of the time.  Monday is the fifth trading day of 2011 and so it could be a key indicator for 2012 as a whole.  The “first five days” indicator comes from my friend, Jeffrey Hirsch at Stock Traders Almanac, who presents other fascinating January seasonality indicators in his latest article, “January Abounds With Indicators And Seasonality.”

On My ETF Radar

Technical indicators continue to be strong in the early going for 2012.

S&P 500 (<a target=

In the point and figure chart above, you can see how the S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:XLB) and on Friday, JP Morgan reports earnings to kick off news in the Financial Sector (NYSEARCA:IYF) Both of these companies are viewed as bellwether issues and will cast some light on earnings season which will get underway in earnest over the next couple of weeks.  Europe will remain a big player as we head towards the summit at the end of January.  Many potential bear ambushes lie ahead, but for today, markets got off to a good start and appear poised to move higher.

Disclosure: No positions in ETFs or stocks discussed in this article.

John Nyaradi is the author of The ETF Investing Premium Newsletter.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Nyaradi at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com