U.S. markets showed slight weakness to start Thursday’s session following news out of China suggesting the visit to the U.S. by the Chinese delegation may be cut short. However, a sharp turnaround occurred shortly afterwards when President Trump confirmed he would meet with China’s Vice Premier on Friday at The White House.
The higher highs and retest of prior resistance levels were slightly bullish signals but the major indexes are still showing losses for the week. Volatility eased for the 2nd-straight session and is still giving a neutral reading after failing to recapture near-term support levels.
The S&P 500 gained 0.6% after tapping a 1st half high of 2,948. Major and lower resistance at 2,950-2,975 was challenged but held on the close back above the 50-day moving average.
The Dow was also up 0.6% following the intraday run to 26,603. Prior and lower resistance at 26,600-26,800 was breached but held with the blue-chips also recovering and holding the 50-day moving average into the closing bell.
The Nasdaq was higher by 0.6%, as well, after reaching a morning peak of 7,982. Near-term and lower resistance at 7,950-8,000 was cleared and held by nearly a point but not the 50-day moving average which is halfway up the ladder at 7,979.
The Russell 2000 climbed 0.4% after testing a high of 1,491 shortly after the open. Prior and lower resistance at 1,485-1,500 was cleared and held by nearly a half-point with more important hurdles remaining at 1,510-1,525 and the 50/200-day moving averages.
Energy and Financials were the strongest sectors after rallying 1.3% and 1%, respectively, while Industrials and Materials soared 0.9%. Utilities was the only sector laggard after slipping 0.1%.
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Apple (AAPL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Longbow
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Telsey Advisory
Skyworks (SWKS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen
Continental Resources (CLR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho
ForeScout (FSCT) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Kroger (KR) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
FRIDAY'S EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Before the open: Fastenal (FAST), Infosys Technologies (INFY)
After the close: None
Friday's economic reports (EST):
Import and Export Prices - 8:30am
Consumer Sentiment - 10:00am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count - 1:00pm
METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1500.90 an ounce, down $11.90
Silver settled at $17.60 an ounce,