Bulls Snap 4-Week Slide, Bears Take August

U.S. markets closed mixed on Friday as the blue-chips and S&P 500 rebounded into positive territory after being down for much of the day to extend their winning streak to 3-straight sessions. Tech and the small-caps, however, closed lower as Wall Street remained focused on developments related to the U.S.-China trade conflict as well as the outlook for the global economy.

The weekly gains ended a string of 4-straight down weeks for the major indexes but the August losses were the first monthly pullback since May. Near-term resistance and support levels held with volatility rising, giving a neutral reading ahead of the 3-day holiday weekend and the start of September.

The Dow added 0.2% after trading in a 220-point range and tapping a 1st half high of 26,514. Prior and lower support at 26,400-26,600 was reclaimed with a close above the latter and the 50-day moving average being a bullish signal for a run towards 26,750-27,000.

The S&P 500 nudged up 0.1% following opening run to 2,940 and 2nd-straight close above the 2,900 level. Current and lower resistance at 2,925-2,950 was cleared held with a close above the latter and the 50-day moving average getting 2,975-3,000 back in play.

The Russell 2000 slipped -0.1% despite testing an opening high of 1,504 but failing to hold lower resistance at 1,500-1,515. The pullback to 1,488 afterwards held upper support at 1,490-1,475 with risk towards 1,465-1,450 on a move back below the latter.

The Nasdaq also dipped -0.1% after failing to hold the 8,000 level on the morning pop to 8,017. The intraday fade to 7,914 held near-term and upper support at 7,900-7,850 with a close below 7,800 being a renewed bearish development.

For the week, the Dow was up 3% while the S&P 500 rose 2.8%. The Nasdaq was higher by 2.7% and the Russell 2000 advanced 2.3%. For August, the Russell 2000 sank -5.3% and the Nasdaq tumbled -2.6%. The S&P 500 fell -1.8% while the Dow dropped -1.7%.

Materials and Industrials paced sector leaders after rising 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. Consumer Discretionary declined 0.6% to lead sector weakness.

The best performing sectors for the week were Communication Services and Utilities (0.7%) followed by Consumer Discretionary (0.5%) and Industrials (0.4%). Energy (-0.7%) was the leading sector laggard with Healthcare (-0.4%) and Technology (-0.3%) rounding out the losers. For August, Real Estate surged 5.4% while Energy plunged -7.6%.