U.S. markets showed resiliency on Wednesday following the Iranian missile strikes on two U.S. bases in Iraq that caused concern overnight. In fact, Dow futures were down 400 points at one point before steadily improving ahead of the opening bell.
The market viewed the U.S./ Iran conflict as stabilizing, for now, after tweets from both sides suggested that they are not seeking a further escalation. Iran's Foreign Minister tweeted that the country is not seeking escalation or war, while President Trump tweeted "all is well" and updated the country ahead of Wall Street’s lunch break.
Tech showed the most strength but the broader market wasn’t far behind as record highs were tapped. Volatility also went on a wild ride and is giving a slightly bullish reading for the market after closing lower for the 3rd-straight session.
The Nasdaq rallied 0.7% following the 2nd half run to 9,168 and new all-time high. Fresh and lower resistance at 9,150-9,200 was breached but held with a close above the latter signaling momentum towards 9,300-9,350.
The Dow gained 0.6% with the late day high reaching 28,866. Current and upper resistance at 28,600-28,800 was cleared but held with continued closes above the latter and all-time high of 28,872 signaling additional strength towards the 29,000 level.
The S&P 500 was up 0.5% after trading to an intraday and lifetime high of 3,267. Prior and lower resistance at 3,250-3,275 was cleared and held with a close above the latter getting 3,300-3,325 in play.
The Russell 2000 climbed 0.3% while the late day high tapping 1,669. Prior and lower resistance at 1,665-1,680 was cleared but held with a close above the latter and the late December 52-week peak at 1,681 getting 1,700 in focus.
Technology zoomed 1.1% to led sector strength while Communication Services, Financials and Healthcare rose 0.7%. Energy tanked 1.7% and was the main sector laggard while Utilities slipped 0.1% to round out the losers.
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Apache (APA) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Ciena (CIEN) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho
Boeing (BA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen
FireEye (FEYE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA
STMicroelectronics (STM) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs
THURSDAY'S EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS
Before the open:
Acuity Brands (AYI), Azz (AZZ), Lindsay Manufacturing (LNN), Park Electrochemical (PKE), Saratoga Investment (SAR), Simply Good Foods (SMPL)
After the close:
Aehr Test Systems (AEHR), Franklin Covey (FC), KB Home (KBH), PriceSmart (PSMT), Simulations Plus (SLP), Synnex (SNX), VOXX International (VOXX), WD-40 (WDFC)
THURSDAY'S ECONOMIC NEWS
Jobless Claims - 8:30am
Gold closed at $1,560.20 an ounce, down $14.10
Silver settled at $18.17 an ounce, down $0.24
Copper finished at $2.81 a pound, up $0.02
Crude Oil was at $60.07 a barrel, down $2.55
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $9.32,