Bulls on the Brink

U.S. markets showed weakness for the 4th-straight session while holding early February support levels that served as previous resistance. The losses further worried Wall Street but the technical damage remains healthy as long as the lower end of the current trading ranges hold.

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The losses extended the worst week of the year for the major indexes with Friday’s session being a big clue on how next week might unfold. Volatility will also be key as the VIX is once again dancing with disaster after spiking to a fresh monthly high.

The Nasdaq fell 1.1% following the pullback to 7,397. Prior and upper support at 7,425-7,375 was tripped and failed to hold with the close below the 7,450 level the 200-day moving average being a slightly bearish signal.

The Russell 2000 fell 0.9% while tapping a late session low of 1,521. Early February and upper support at 1,525-1,510 was breached and failed to hold with a move below the latter getting 1,500-1,475 and the 50-day moving average in play.

The S&P 500 was lower by 0.8% after trading to a low of 2,739 ahead of the closing bell. Near-term and major support at 2,750 and the 200-day moving average failed to hold by a point with risk to 2,725-2,700 on continued weakness.

The Dow was also down 0.8% after bottoming at 25,352. Mid-February and lower support at 25,500-25,250 held with a close below 25,000 and the 200-day moving average confirming a near-term top.

Utilities were the only sector that closed higher after climbing 0.3%.

Consumer Discretionary led sector weakness after sinking 1.2%. Financials and Technology fell 1% while Communication Services sank 0.9%.

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Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan
Baytex Energy (BTE) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie
World Fuel Services (INT) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Seaport Global
AB InBev (BUD) downgraded to Sector Perform from Top Pick at RBC Capital
Brighthouse Financial (BHF) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill
United Natural Foods (UNFI) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Pivotal Research

Friday Before the Open (EST):
Big Lots (BIG), Daseke (DSKE), Eloxx Pharmaceuticals (ELOX), Ferrellgas Partners (FGP), Navistar International (NAV), Plymouth Industrial REIT (PLYM), RLH (RLH), Transportadora de Gas (TGS), Vail Resorts (MTN)
Friday After the close(EST):
Conatus Pharmaceuticals (CNAT)

Friday's Economic Reports (EST):
Employment Report - 8:30am
Housing Starts - 8:30am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count - 1:00pm


Gold closed at $1,286.10 an ounce, down $1.50

Silver closed at $15.04 an ounce, down $0.05

Copper finished at $2.91 a pound, unchanged

Crude Oil is at $56.56 barrel, up $0.33

Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $4.85, up $0.010

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

   Todd Mitchell

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