The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY), iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (NYSE:IWM), and the PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 ETF (NASDAQ:QQQQ) are all at new 52 weeks highs surpassing the recent January top. The bull run from the March 2009 lows continues higher for these major indexes. However, there are a few individual leading stock names that are not at new 52 week highs. These stocks have not displayed the same relative strength as the indexes and must be watched closely should the market pullback.

The first stock that is very important and not currently at a new 52 week high is Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX). This is a leading copper stock and sometimes viewed by many traders as a copper ETF. The stock is still nearly 10 points below it’s January high of 90.55 a share. This could be telling us that copper demand is not as strong as it has been in the past year. Copper historically has been a leading indicator for the market and could be signaling trouble down the road. The next important resistance level for FCX on the daily chart is 85.00.

The next leading stock that is below it’s recent 52 week high is, Inc(NASDAQ:AMZN). This stock is also viewed by many as a stock market barometer due to it’s hybrid nature of technology and retail. Amazon Inc(NASDAQ:AMZN) hit a high in December 2009 at 146.00 and has not retested that level since. The stock has rallied from the market’s February 5th pivot low of 114.00. Therefore, it has recaptured around 62 percent of it’s December decline and looks to be at a daily chart resistance level here. Many retailers and tech stocks are all at new 52 week highs while Amazon Inc is not. This stock must be watched closely if the markets pullback.

The next name that has not made a new 52 week high and is a market leader is American Express Company (NYSE:AXP). The credit card provider made a high on January 20, 2010 at 43.25 before selling off sharply into February 5th. This stock has also recovered 62 percent of it’s recent decline currently trading at 40.60. This is usually a good short term resistance level on the daily chart, therefore, this stock must be watched closely if the stock market pulls back.

These stocks are just a few leading names that have not kept up with the leading indexes. Currently the markets are holding up well, therefore, if the major indexes pullback these lagging names could decline sharply.

Nicholas Santiago
Chief Market Strategist