Bulls Stay Strong Despite Sluggish Session

China’s economic
The stock market traded in a tighter range on Thursday and on both sides of the ledger before going out mostly higher. The small-caps slacked following two-straight day days of gains for the major indexes as traders prepared for a number of high profile earnings after the closing bell.
       
Volatility ticked lower but struggled in clearing another level of key support while holding its 50-day moving average. The bulls are still in control to get the weekly win but the bears can’t be counted out given the recent whipsaw action.
        
The Nasdaq reached a peak of 14,694 before ending at 14,684 (+0.4%). Prior and lower resistance at 14,650-14,800 was cleared and held. A move above the latter and the last week’s all-time high of 14,803 gets 15,000 in focus.
       
The S&P 500 settled at 4,367 (+0.2%) with the afternoon high tapping 4,369. Key resistance at 4,375 was challenged but held. A close above this level would signal a retest towards 4,400 with the recent lifetime top at 4,393.
           
The Dow traded up to 34,879 before closing at 34,823 (+0.1%). Key resistance at 35,000 easily held. A pop above this level and the record high from early May 35,091 would likely lead to a breakout towards 35,250-35,500.
       
The Russell 2000 tagged a midday low of 2,192 while finishing at 2,199 (+1.8%). Current and upper support at 2,200-2,175 failed to hold. A drop below the latter signal another fade towards 2,150-2,125 with Monday’s low at 2,107. Below is a chart of the IWM.
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ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES

Airbnb (ABNB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BTIG
CSX (CSX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at TD Securities
World Acceptance (WRLD) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Stephens

Chevron (CVX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC
Texas Instruments (TXN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Insights
Williams-Sonoma (WSM) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs

FRIDAY'S EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS 
Before the open: American Express (AXP), Civista Bancshares (CIVB), First Bancorp Puerto Rico (FBP), Gentex (GNTX), Honeywell International (HON), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), NextEra Energy (NEE), Regions Financial (RF), Schlumberger (SLB)

After the close: None

FRIDAY'S ECONOMIC NEWS
PMI Composite Flash -
9:45am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count - 1:00pm

METALS/ OIL
Gold closed at $1,805.40an ounce, up $2.00
Silver settled at $25.38 an ounce, up $0.13
Copper finished at $4.34 a pound, up $0.07
Crude Oil was at $71.81 a barrel, up $1.59
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $27.05 up $1.02

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

 Todd Mitchell

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