US equities frolicked higher yesterday Monday September 9th on the back of a big rally in Asia and eased concerns around a possible military strike on Syria.  Most sectors of the benchmark S&P 500 index acted exceedingly well, among them the materials group, which with yesterday’s 1.50% rally managed to close at a fresh year to date high, and a level not seen since June 2008.

On the below chart of the Materials Sector SPDR ETF (XLB), note that it had been trading in a range since July, but after bouncing off its 50 day simple moving average (yellow line) on August 29th managed to build up enough force to finally push past the $41.60 area.

xlb

Within the materials sector notably is steel manufacturer United States Steel Corporation (X), which hasn’t been able to get out of its own way in recent years, but since May of this year managed to form a series of higher lows.  With yesterday’s 3.50% rally the stock pushed to a higher high and now is only 2.00% away from its 200 day simple moving average and less than 8.00% from a major multi-year down-trend line (black).  Those two resistance points however serve as good reference areas for traders looking to play the stock on the long side.

X 18 month chart

On the year to date chart of United States Steel Corporation (X), note that the stock yesterday bumped up against a line of resistance that dates back to May, and a push above there would be clearly bullish.  From a tactical point of view, if and when the stock manages to push toward the 200 day moving average (red line), after some potential near-term consolidation the stock could begin to accelerate a move higher and toward the $22 – $23 area.

X year to date

 

 

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