Bulls Get 2nd-Straight Weekly Win

U.S. markets traded in negative territory throughout much of Friday’s session while closing with slight losses and hovering in another tight trading range. The late day strength was an encouraging sign as the Dow and S&P made a trip into positive territory with all of the major indexes holding near-term support levels into the weekend.

The major indexes also posted back-to-back weekly gains, another bullish signal, and comes ahead of the Fed’s decision on interest rates this Wednesday. Volatility also settled lower despite the overall market pullback but has also been stuck in a mini range.

The Russell 2000 fell 0.8% after testing and closing on its late day low of 1,522. Upper support at 1,515-1,500 easily held although a close below the latter would be a bearish signal. Major resistance levels remain at 1,535-1,550 and the 200/50-day moving averages.

The Nasdaq avoided a weekly low but still gave back 0.5% following the intraday pullback to 7,778 and close just below the 7,800 level. Near-term and upper support at 7,750-7,700 held with a close below the latter opening up risk towards 7,650-7,600. Major resistance remains at 7,850 and the 50-day moving average and levels that were challenged but held throughout all of last week.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.2% following the morning pullback to 2,879. Current and upper support at 2,875-2,850 held with the index holding its 50-day moving average for the 5th-straight session. The 2,900 level remains key resistance going forward and a level that was breached twice last week but held.

The Dow dipped 0.1%, after trading to an intraday low of 25,988. Near-term and upper support at 26,000-25,750 and the 50-day moving average was breached but held with both levels also holding for the 5th-straight session. A close above near-term resistance at 26,250 would be a more bullish signal for higher highs with last week’s peak at 26,248.

For the week, the Nasdaq was up 0.7% and the Russell 2000 rose 0.6%. The S&P 500 added 0.5% and the Dow gained 0.4%.

Utilities led sector strength after rallying 1.1% while Real Estate advanced 0.4%. Technology and Energy were the leading laggards after falling 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively.

The best performing sectors for the week included Consumer Discretionary (3.6%), Technology and Communication Services (2.6%) and Materials (1.9%). Utilities were the only sector that closed in the red (-0.6%).

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ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES

Bluegreen Vacations (BXG) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Harmonic (HLIT) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James
United Technologies (UTX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Vertical Research

Ashland (ASH) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) downgraded to Sell from Hold at SunTrust
Transocean (RIG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi

MONDAY'S EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS  
Before the open: Fang Holdings (SFUN)

After the close: None

UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS 
Monday's economic reports (EST): 
Empire State Manufacturing Survey - 8:30am
Housing Market Index - 10:00am

METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1,344.50 an ounce, up $0.80
Silver settled at $14.80 an ounce, down $0.09
Copper finished at $2.63 a pound, down $0.02
Crude Oil was at $52.51 a barrel, up $0.32
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $10.80, up $0.05



  I hope this helps you prepare for the trading day. Make it a great one!

   Todd Mitchell


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