Bulls Push Near-Term Resistance Levels

U.S. markets were choppy throughout Thursday’s session following comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on China trade talks. Ross said that China and the U.S. were not close to striking a trade deal and that the U.S. is miles and miles away, adding the two countries have lots and lots of issues.

The partial government shutdown also shows no sign of ending anytime soon as two competing bills failed to gain approval. Despite the nervousness, the major indexes closed mostly higher with the blue-chips lagging.

The Russell 2000 rose 0.7% after testing a first half high of 1,465. Lower resistance at 1,465-1,480 was challenged for the 2nd-straight session and a level that held into the closing bell.

The Nasdaq also gained 0.7% following the intraday run to 7,078. Lower resistance 7,100-7,150 held for the 3rd-straight session with a move above the latter being a bullish signal.

The S&P 500 edged up 0.1% after trading a session high of 2,647. Lower resistance at 2,650-2,675 was challenged but held for the 3rd-straight session.

The Dow dipped 0.1% following the intraday back-test to 24,422. Upper support at 24,300-24,100 and the 50-day moving average easily held on the 2nd-straight close above the 24,500 level.

Technology paced sector strength after rallying 0.9%. Utilities and Industrials rose 0.6%.

Consumer Staples and Healthcare led sector laggards with declines of 1.3% and 0.8%, respectively. Materials fell 0.5%.
Consumer Staples and Utilities showed the most sector strength after rising 1.2% and 1%, respectively. Technology gained 0.3%.

ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES
Kimberly-Clark (KMB) upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley
Procter & Gamble (PG) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Berenberg
Restaurant Brands (QSR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital

Canada Goose (GOOS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Mondelez (MDLZ) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg
Weibo (WB) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies

EARNINGS
Friday Before the Open (EST):
​AbbVie (ABBV), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), DR Horton (DHI), Ericsson (ERIC), Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC), Lear (LEA), NextEra Energy (NEE)
Friday After the Close (EST): None

UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS
Friday’s Economic Reports (EST):
Durable Goods Orders – 8:30am
New Home Sales – 10:00am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count – 1:00pm

METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1,279.80 an ounce, down $4.20
Silver settled at $15.30 an ounce, down $0.08
Copper finished at $2.64 a pound, down $0.01
Crude Oil is at $53.13 a barrel, up $0.49
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $4.25,
up $0.13

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

   Todd Mitchell