Bulls Tag Fresh All-Time Highs on Rate Cut Hopes

U.S. markets showed strength for the 2nd-straight session while setting fresh all-time highs following hints of a quarter-point rate cut later this month. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stressed the various uncertainties that were weighing on the outlook, and worries that weak inflation will be even more persistent supported expectations for an easing.

While the market liked what was stated, Powell did not really suggest a bigger 50 basis point rate reduction was in the offing, though he did say the Fed has the tools needed and could use them aggressively, if necessary. Volatility cooled but held near-term support levels and could signal some choppiness the rest of the week.

The Nasdaq led the way higher after jumping 0.8% while trading to a record intraday high of 8,228. Blue-sky resistance is at 8,250-8,325 on continued closes above the 8,200 level.

The S&P 500 gained 0.5% after testing an all-time high of 3,002 shortly after the opening bell. Fresh and lower resistance at 3,000-3,025 was tripped but held with a close above these levels signaling additional strength.

The Dow rose 0.3% following the morning push to 26,983 and new all-time high. Near-term and upper resistance at 26,750-27,000 held on the close above the latter.

The Russell 2000 edged up 0.2% after trading to an opening high of 1,572. Near-term and lower resistance at 1,570-1,575 was cleared but held with a close above the latter keeping 1,600 in play.

Energy rallied 1.3% to lead sector strength while Communication Services soared 1.1%.

Financials paced sector laggards after falling 0.4% while Industrials and Materials were down 0.2%.

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Comcast (CMCSA) upgraded to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs
Core Laboratories (CLB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill with
Total (TOT) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse

BP (BP) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Deere (DE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Universal Display (OLED) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer

Before the open:  Delta Air Lines (DAL), Emmis Communications (EMMS), Fastenal (FAST), Park Electrochemical (PKE)
After the close: KushCo Holdings (KSHB)

Thursday's economic reports (EST): 
Jobless Claims - 8:30am
CPI - 8:30am
Treasury Budget - 2:00pm

Gold closed at $1,412.50 an ounce, up $12.00
Silver settled at $15.23 an ounce, up $0.08
Copper finished at $2.69 a pound, up $0.05
Crude Oil was at $60.34 a barrel, up $2.51
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $15.25, down $0.11

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

   Todd Mitchell

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