Bears Get Weekly Win

U.S. markets finished higher on Friday but closed the week with losses as Wall Street prepares for this week’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting that starts on Tuesday. The Fed is widely expected to deliver the first rate increase of 2018 under Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s first as chairman of the central bank.

While the market may have fully priced in a quarter-percentage point rate increase, traders will parse the wording of the accompanying statement and Powell’s subsequent news conference for clues on market direction afterwards.

The Nasdaq closed in the green by a quarter-point, or 0.00%, after reaching a late day peak of 7,514 but closed below the 7,500 level for the third-straight session. The Russell 2000 showed the most strength after advancing 0.6% and testing a high just south of 1,589 but closed below the 1,600 level for the 4th-straight session. For the week, Tech gave back 1% while the small-caps dropped 0.7%.

The Dow climbed 0.2% after testing to a high of 25,031 with resistance at the 25,000 level holding for a second-straight session. The S&P 500 also added 0.2% after making an intraday run to 2,761 while closing back above its 50-day moving average and snapping a four-session losing streak. For the week, the Dow fell 1.6% while the S&P 500 stumbled 1.3%.

Lumber Liquidators (LL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Loop Capital
Thor Industries (THO) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
WellCare (WCG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill

Dominion (D) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
RPM (RPM) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Wayfair (W) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at DA Davidson

Monday’s scheduled earnings (EST):
Before the open: Canadian Solar (CSIQ), Fibrocell Science (FCSC), Leju Holdings (LEJU), Mediwound (MDWD)
After the close: Atento (ATTO), Condor Hospitality Trust (CDOR), HealthEquity (HQY), Luxfer Group (LXFR), Oracle (ORCL)

Monday’s economic reports (EST): No major announcements Monday

Gold closed at $1,312.30 an ounce, down $5.50
Silver closed at $16.27 an ounce, down $0.15
Copper finished at $3.11 a pound, down $0.02
Crude Oil closed at $62.25 a barrel, up $1.06
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) settled at $14.23 up $0.77

Make it a great day!

Todd Mitchell