Another day, another record-breaking milestone for the Dow Jones. The blue-chip index went over 26,000 for the first time ever Tuesday, just seven trading days after surpassing 25,000 and less than a year since hitting its monumental 20,000 level.
Now, the question is, how soon will the Dow hit its next 1,000 point marker?
Broad strength in equities should support those gains as we move deeper into the year, according to Rich Ross, head of technical analysis at Evercore ISI.
“What’s so great about this rally is the breadth, the fact that you can find strong winners across a myriad of sectors,” Ross told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Tuesday.
For the next leg up, Ross sees UnitedHealth continuing to give life to this Dow rally after delivering a large chunk of the gains since the index hit 20,000.
“When you look at the weekly chart you need ask no further questions just to see the strength. This is a stock that’s up from $30 to $230 since 2010, riding the wave of that 100-week moving average,” he said.
UnitedHealth delivered a solid performance in 2017 even as the repeal-and-replace debate over Obamacare created waves among health-care stocks. The health insurance provider rose nearly 40 percent in 2017 for its ninth straight year of gains. United’s performance blew past the Dow’s 25 percent increase for the year.
Chevron should also give fuel to the Dow rally as it benefits from a broad surge in oil and energy stocks to start the year, said Ross.
“Chevron is all the way back to the highs that we saw in 2014 when the entire crude and energy nightmare began,” he said. “That’s a big multiyear base of support that’s going to give us a solid foundation for a breakout to new highs.”
Oil has risen roughly 6 percent since the beginning of the year, boosted by signs of increased demand and compliance among OPEC to reduce production. Chevron has posted a 5 percent gain, in kind, and gave help to the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF‘s 6 percent increase.
Ross’ last pick, Apple, is a Wall Street favorite also championed by Michael Bapis, managing director of The Bapis Group at HighTower Advisors. Both see the tech giant’s growth potential and a lack of competition as drivers of stock outperformance.
So far this year, Apple has climbed 4 percent, in line with gains by the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF. In 2017, Apple’s 46 percent rise raced ahead of the ETF’s 32 percent increase.
There have been few losers among the Dow 30 so far this year. Just four of the Dow stocks are in the red in the year to date, while 22 of the components have seen double-digit percentage gains in the past 12 months. Boeing, Caterpillar and UnitedHealth contributed the most to the Dow from 25,000 to 26,000.
Apple and two others could propel the Dow to 27,000