U.S. markets were mostly weak during the first half of trading, but improved off the morning lows heading into the Fed minutes. The small-caps gave an early signal the major indexes could extend their winning streak for a 3rd-straight session as they traded in positive territory within an hour of the open. However, there was little reaction to the Fed news afterwards, despite a more cautious tone with the market finishing mixed for the session.
The Russell 2000 gained 0.2% after reaching a peak of 1,551 while closing higher for the 5th time in 6 sessions. The Nasdaq slipped 0.4% despite making a run to 7,128 but was able to hold the 7,000 level for the 2nd-straight session.
The Dow dropped 0.9% after trading in negative territory throughout the day with the low tapping 24,150. The S&P 500 stumbled 0.6% after testing a low of 2,639 with the 50-day moving average officially falling below the 100-day moving average and is typically a bearish development.
Citi (C) upgraded to Buy from Hold at HSBCBHP
Billiton (BHP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
AeroVironment (AVAV) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Avis Budget (CAR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Northcoast
Fortinet (FTNT) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Mitel (MITL) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at National Bank
Before the open: Apogee Enterprises (APOG), Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK), BlackRock (BLK), Commerce Bancshares (CBSH), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Rite Aid (RAD), Shaw Communications (SJR)
After the close: Vince Holding (VNCE)
Thursday's economic reports (EST):
Chain Store Sales - 7:00am
Jobless Claims - 8:30am
Import and Export Prices - 8:30am
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index - 9:45am
Gold closed at $1,360.00 an ounce, up $14.10
Silver settled at $16.77 an ounce, up $0.17
Copper finished at $3.11 a pound, down $0.02
Crude Oil closed at $66.78 a barrel, up $1.20
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) settled at $11.48 up $0.43
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