Transports will 'come to the rescue' of any market weakness in April, technician says

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Transports are picking up steam.

The IYT transportation ETF has rallied more than 4% in the past week, outpacing the 2% increase on the S&P 500.

Mark Newton, president of Newton Advisors, says the outperformance should continue and “come to the rescue” of any weakness elsewhere in the market this month.

“We’ve seen some rotation back into this group in the last week,” Newton said on CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Wednesday. “We’ve also broken the downtrend from last fall, so a lot of this is really encouraging in terms of helping the transports, the industrials really match what happened in the Dow last month.”

“I like the rails in particular,” said Newton. “Norfolk Southern, Kansas City, Union Pacific, CSX — these tend to be the leaders.”

Norfolk Southern and CSX hit record highs this week. Those two stocks and Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific have each rallied more than 20 percent in 2019.

“This group does look like really an attractive area to consider and one potentially overweighted at a time when technology is up near prior highs as something you might want to rotate into,” said Newton.

Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, is bullish on the railroads, freight and airlines but sees one of those having the best breakout.

“Airlines, which has been a notoriously difficult nonprofitable business, has become a very profitable business right now,” said Schlossberg.

Airline stocks broke out this week after Delta upped its first-quarter guidance on strong demand. Delta and Southwest Air have spiked 14 percent since Monday, while JetBlue and American Airlines have increased 4 percent.

“I really like Delta mainly because it’s certainly a very stalwart part of the airlines, but also because there’s also a lot of speculation that perhaps Warren Buffett is going to make a bid for the company, so there is a potential takeout play there as well,” said Schlossberg.

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