Bulls Rally but Gains Limited

MARKET SUMMARY
U.S. markets showed strength on the open and throughout the first half of action as the official start of 1Q earnings season heats up this week. Today’s rebound from Friday’s drubbing was slightly bullish but the final hour pullback on light volume was more bearish with the indexes closing well off their intraday highs. The technical outlook remains shaky if the market can’t keep any momentum with volatility remaining slightly elevated.

The Nasdaq rallied 0.5% after reaching a peak just south of 7,075 intraday but closed below the 7,000 level for the second-straight session. The S&P 500 added 0.3% after trading to a high of 2,653 while holding the 2,600 level for a 5th-straight session.

The Dow advanced 0.2% after making a run to 24,373 but was unable to hold the 24,000 level for the second-straight session. The Russell 2000 was up 0.1% after tapping an intraday high of 1,533 and has been holding the 1,500 level for five-straight sessions.

TRADE OF THE DAY

ANALYST UPGRADES / DOWNGRADES
Agilent (A) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs
General Motors (GM) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
TD Ameritrade (AMTD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill

Franklin Resources (BEN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill Incyte (INCY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Gabelli
Westlake Chemical (WLK) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan

EARNINGS
Tuesday’s earnings:
Before the open: MSC Industrial Direct (MSM), Simply Good Foods (SMPL)
After the close: Exfo (EXFO), Layne Christensen (LAYN), Link Motion (LKM), Mitcham Industries (MIND)

UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS
Tuesday’s economic reports (EST):
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index – 6:00am
PPI-FD – 8:30am
Redbook – 8:55am
Wholesale Trade – 10:00am

METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1,340.10 an ounce, up $4.00
Silver closed at $16.53 an ounce, up $0.17
Copper finished at $3.07 a pound, up $0.02
Crude Oil closed at $63.33 a barrel, up $1.38
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) settled at $10.55 unchanged

Make it a great day!

Todd Mitchell

QUOTE OF THE DAY