U.S. markets showed strength throughout Thursday’s action but traded in tight ranges as better-than-expected economic news kept a bid under the major indexes. Late day weakness dragged down the blue-chips and the small-caps with the overall market basically flat for the session.
Volatility is giving a neutral reading as the market will now focus on ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China along with the start of Q3 earnings in early October.
The Nasdaq edged up 0.1% following a morning run to 8,237. Prior and lower resistance at 8,200-8,250 was cleared for the 1st time in 4 sessions but a level that held with additional hurdles at 8,300-8,350 and the all-time high at 8,339.
The S&P 500 was up less than a tenth-point, after trading in an 18-point range, while reaching a 1st half peak of 3,021. Major resistance at 3,025 was challenged but held with continued closes above this level and the all-time high at 3,027 getting 3,050-3,075 in focus.
The Russell 2000 fell 0.4% despite tapping an intraday high of 1,581. Previous and key resistance from last week at 1,585 was challenged but held with continued closes above the 1,600 level and the July high of 1,599 being a more bullish signal for higher highs.
The Dow nudged down 0.2% after stalling at 27,272 while holding the 27,000 level for the 7th-straight session and trading in a 208-point range. Near-term and lower resistance at 27,250-27,500 was breached but held with the all-time high from July at 27,398.
Healthcare and Utilities showed the most sector strength after jumping 0.5% while Real Estate rose 0.3%. Industrial and Financials were the leading laggards after giving back 0.5% while Consumer Discretionary and Energy were off 0.3%.
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Cousins Properties (CUZ) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Hyatt (H) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs
Twilio (TWLO) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Akamai (AKAM) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc
Costco (COST) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
U.S. Steel (X) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Macquarie
FRIDAY'S EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Before the open: None
After the close: None
UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS
Friday's economic reports (EST):
Baker-Hughes Rig Count - 1:00pm
METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1506.20 an ounce,