STOCKS

Materials stocks have been leading the recent rebound, and MoneyShow's Tom Aspray looks at the charts of four of the sector's top plays to determine the right entry points.

The stock market put in another strong performance Tuesday, as the Advance/Decline numbers were 3:1 positive—even stronger than Monday.

This supports the view that the correction from the September highs has traced out a flag or triangle formation. This is a typical continuation pattern, with upside targets for the Spyder Trust (SPY) in the $149 to $151 area.

The materials sector led the charge, as the Select Sector SPDR Materials (XLB) was up 2.4%. The materials stocks are involved in the discovery, production, and processing of both raw and synthetic materials.

XLB fell sharply lower in 2008, losing over 45%...but the gains in 2009 and 2010, of 40% and 16% respectively, erased those losses. So far this year, the XLB is up just over 12% (after losing 12.8% in 2011), as opposed to the small 0.2% loss in the Spyder Trust (SPY).

The two energy ETFs I favored last week, SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration (XOP) and Select Sector SPDR Energy (XLE), gained 1.9% and 1.6% respectively. They still need to surpass further resistance to confirm that their correction is over.

For those underinvested in stocks, the Select Sector SPDR Materials ETF (XLB) looks attractive, as do these two chemical companies and one oil driller that also appear to have completed their corrections.

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Chart Analysis: The Select Sector SPDR Materials (XLB) has tested the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement support of the rally from the June lows at $32.59. The Fibonacci levels can be a great tool to determine both entry and exit points.

  • The slightly rising 200-day MA is at $35.96, with the 50% support level at $35.57.

  • The daily relative performance analysis has been in a trading range since May, but it turned up Tuesday.

  • A move in the RS line above resistance (line c) is needed to indicate that XLB is starting to lead the S&P 500 higher.

  • The volume surged yesterday, and the daily OBV is above its WMA. The weekly OBV (not shown) is also positive.

  • There is next resistance in the $38 area, with the 127.2% Fibonacci retracement target at $39.21.

  • XLB also has a decent yield of just over 2%.

Dow Chemical (DOW) is up just 4% this year, and has lagged the SPY by well over 13% so far in 2012. The daily chart shows a pattern of lower lows (line f) since last May.

  • The 50% Fibonacci retracement support at $28.30 was slightly broken last week, with the 61.8% support at $26.46.

  • The daily relative performance has moved back above its WMA, with key resistance now at line h. The major downtrend and longer-term resistance is at line g.

  • Volume was double the average yesterday, but the on-balance volume (OBV) is still just slightly below its WMA.

  • The weekly OBV (not shown) is below its WMA, but has formed a slight positive divergence.

  • There is next resistance at $30.60, with the downtrend (line e) and the 200-day MA at $31.83.

  • DOW currently yields 4.5%.

NEXT: Tom's Analysis of 2 Smaller-Cap Plays

Tickers Mentioned: Tickers: SPY, XLB, XOP, XLE, NBR