Fed Update Lifts Stocks Off Lows

Federal Reserve

The stock market was choppy heading into the latest update from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday but gained momentum after the announcement of holding interest rates near-zero. The minutes were a little more upbeat than last month, noting progress on vaccinations and strong policy support are helping strengthen economic indicators, including employment.

The Fed reiterated the path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus, including progress on vaccinations. The turnaround off the session lows but slightly lower close remains a bullish setup heading into the last two trading days of April with first-quarter earnings remaining strong.

The Russell 2000 reached an afternoon high of 2,309 before finishing at 2,304 (+0.1%). Lower resistance at 2,310-2,335 was challenged but held. A move above the latter would suggest additional strength towards 2,350-2,375 with the all-time peak at 2,360.

The S&P 500 tagged a record peak of 4,201 while closing slightly lower at 4,183 (-0.1%). Unchartered territory and key resistance at 4,200 was cleared but held. A close above this level would indicate a breakout towards 4,225-4,250.

The Nasdaq ended at 14,051 after tapping a second half high of 14,133 (-0.3%). Key resistance at 14,150 was challenged but held. A pop above this level and the record high at 14,175 would indicate momentum towards 14,250-14,400.

The Dow traded in negative territory throughout the session while settling at 33,820 (-0.5%) with the morning low hitting 33,805. Near-term and upper support at 33,750-33,500 was challenged but held. A drop below the latter would signal weakness towards 33,250-33,000.

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ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES

Marsh & McLennan (MMC) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Sandler
Ralph Lauren (RL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen
ViacomCBS (VIAC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi

Enphase Energy (ENPH) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland
Fastly (FSLY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Spirit Airlines (SAVE) downgraded to In Line from Outperform at Evercore ISI

THURSDAY'S EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS 
Before the open: Altria Group (MO), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Caterpillar, (CAT), Domino's Pizza (DPZ), ExlService Holdings (EXLS), Generac Holdings (GNRC), Hershey (HSY), Imax (IMAX), Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), LendingTree (TREE), Mastercard (MA), McDonalds (MCD), Newmont Mining (NEM), Overstock.com (OSTK), Parker-Hannifin (PH), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), STMicroelectronics (STM), T. Rowe Price Group (TROW), Ultralife (ULBI), Wabtec (WAB), XCEL Energy (XEL)

After the close: Amazon.com (AMZN), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), Del Taco Restaurants (TACO), Ethan Allen Interiors (ETH), First Solar (FSLR), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Limelight Networks (LLNW), MicroStrategy (MSTR), Nio (NIO), Omnicell (OMCL), Rogers (ROG), Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Twitter (TWTR), United States Steel (X), Western Digital (WDC), Zendesk (ZEN)

THURSDAY’S ECONOMIC NEWS
Jobless Claims - 8:30am
GDP - 8:30am
Pending Home Sales - 10:00am

METALS/ OIL
Gold closed at $1,773.90 an ounce, down $4.90
Silver settled at $26.08 an ounce, down $0.33
Copper finished at $4.50 a pound, up $0.01
Crude Oil was at $63.75 a barrel, up $0.75
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $46.20 down $0.38

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

 Todd Mitchell

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