Record Highs Remain in Play

U.S. markets stayed in rally mode on Thursday as the major indexes continued their assault on all-time highs amid the relative calm in the Middle East. However, latest developments from multiple reports are now indicating that U.S. officials firmly believe that an American made Ukrainian jet crash that occurred near the time of the military aggression was caused by the Iran missile strike.

The ongoing US/Iran flareups deflated oversold market conditions, but not to the point where levels still aren’t stretched. Volatility continues to give a bullish reading and Friday’s close could provide a sneak-peak into how the start of the 4Q earnings season might unfold.

The Nasdaq jumped 0.8% after tapping an intraday high of 9,215 and fresh lifetime high. New and lower resistance at 9,200-9,250 was cleared and held with a close above the latter signaling upside potential towards 9,350-9,400.

The Dow was up 0.7% with the late day all-time high reaching 28,988. Current and lower resistance at 28,800-29,000 was cleared and held with a move above the latter signaling additional momentum towards 29,200-29,400.

The S&P 500 also soared 0.7% after testing a record peak of 3,275. Fresh and lower resistance at 3,275-3,300 was kissed but held by less than a point with a pop past the latter signaling a possible trip towards 3,325-3,350.

The Russell 2000 was higher by 0.3% with the session high reaching 1,671. Near-term and lower resistance at 1,665-1,680 was cleared or challenged for the 5th-straight session, but held, with the late December 52-week high remaining at 1,681.

Technology led sector strength for the 2nd-straight session after rising 1.1%, while Energy and Consumer Staples gained 0.7%. Real Estate was the only sector laggard after slipping 0.03%.

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ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES

AMD (AMD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho
Nordstrom (JWN) upgraded to Accumulate from Hold at Gordon Haskett
Snap (SNAP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies

Fate Therapeutics (FATE) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
Organigram (OGI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Trupanion (TRUP) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel

FRIDAY'S EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS  
Before the open: 
Infosys Technologies (INFY)


After the close: 
​None

THURSDAY'S ECONOMIC NEWS
Employment Report - 8:30am
Wholesale Trade - 10:00am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count - 1:00pm

METALS/ OIL
Gold closed at $1,552.40 an ounce,down $7.48
Silver settled at $17.92 an ounce,  down $0.25
Copper finished at $2.81 a pound, unchanged
Crude Oil was at $59.60 a barrel,
down $0.47
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $9.30,  down $0.02


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


   Todd Mitchell


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