Bulls Post Strong August Gains

MARKET SUMMARY

U.S. markets settled mostly higher on Friday as trade talks between the U.S. and Canada were continued into the upcoming week. The two sides were trying to reach a self-imposed deadline to get a new NAFTA deal done ahead of the holiday weekend and will met again Wednesday.

After the close, Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said that progress on a trade deal with the U.S. has been made, and that the U.S. is negotiating with good faith. She also added that she has agreed with U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, not to make trade negotiations in public.

The Russell 2000 rose 0.5% after tapping another fresh record high of 1,742 ahead of the closing bell. Lower resistance at 1,740-1,750 held with a move above the latter being a continued bullish development.

The Nasdaq climbed 0.3% while trading to a first half high of 8,119. Resistance at 8,125-8,200 and the all-time peak at 8,133 from the prior session held.

For the week, Tech jumped 2.1% and the small-caps rose 0.9%. For August, the Nasdaq zoomed 5.7% while the Russell soared 4.8%.

The S&P 500 was up less than a point, or 0.01%, after testing a morning peak of 2,906. The index held the 2,900 level for a 3rd-straight session to keep blue-sky resistance open up to 2,925-2,950.

The Dow slipped 0.1% on the intraday backtest to 25,879. Support at 25,800-25,600 remains in play on continued closes below the 26,000 level.

The S&P 500 gained 0.9% for the week while the Dow climbed 0.7% with both indexes higher for the 3rd-straight week. For the month, the S&P surged 3% and the Dow jumped 2.2%.

Real Estate and Consumer Discretionary were higher by 0.4% and led sector strength. Technology and Consumer Discretionary were up 1.8% for the week with the former up 6.8% in August.

Consumer Services sank 1% to lead sector weakness while Energy was lower by 0.8%. Utilities, Consumer Services and Consumer Staples were down 0.5% for the week. Energy was the only sector laggard in August after giving back 2.9%.

ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES

Avaya Holdings (AVYA) initiated with a Neutral rating and $25 price target at Citi
Activision Blizzard (ATVIWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA Merrill Lynch
Electronic Arts (EAWealth Strength IndexAAPL is Extremely Up and trending Up) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA Merrill Lynch

EARNINGS

Tuesday’s earnings announcements (EST): 

Before the open: Conn’s (CONN)
After the close: American Software (AMSWA), Caleres (CAL), HealthEquity (HQY), RH (RH), SmartSheet (SMAR), Workday (WDAY)

UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS 
Tuesday’s economic reports (EST): 

​​PMI Manufacturing Index – 9:45am
ISM Manufacturing Index – 10:00am
Construction Spending – 10:00am

METALS / OIL

Gold closed at $1,206.70 an ounce, up $1.70

Silver settled at $14.44 an ounce, down $0.04

Copper finished at $2.67 a pound, down $0.05

Crude Oil is at $69.63 barrel, down $0.62

Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $9.50 up $0.37

Make it a great day!

   Todd Mitchell

QUOTE OF THE DAY