Choppy Trading As End Of Quarter Nears

U.S. markets closed lower for a second-straight session following another choppy session. There was little news to account for the volatility which stayed elevated, though portfolio managers may be positioning themselves ahead of the quarterly close. There could be continued market gyrations on lighter volume Thursday as the holiday shortened week wraps up with the market closed for Good Friday.

The Nasdaq declined 0.9% after bottoming at 6,901 intraday to close back below the 7,000 level. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3% after testing an intraday low of 2,601 while holding the 2,600 level for a third-straight session.

The Dow slipped 9 points, or 0.04%, despite trading to an intraday high of 24,092 while closing below the 24,000 level for the fourth time in five sessions. The Russell 2000 lost a half-point, or 0.04%, after trading down to 1,505 while holding the 1,500 level for the second-straight session.

Burberry (BURBY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs
A&T (T) upgraded to Buy from Hold at HSBC
Rockwell Automation (ROK) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo

General Electric (GE) downgraded to Sell from Hold at DZ Bank
Northern Star (NESRF) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
Valeritas (VLRX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen

Thursday’s scheduled earnings (EST):

Before the open: Altimmune (ALT), Constellation Brands (STZ), Lindsay Manufacturing (LNN), Movado Group (MOV), Remark Holdings (MARK), Science Applications (SAIC), Titan Machinery (TITN), Worthington Industries (WOR)
After the close: Art’s Way Manufacturing (ARTW), Five Point Holdings (FPH), KemPharm (KMPH), ParkerVision (PRKR), Synnex (SNX), Xcel Brands (XELB

Thursday’s economic reports (EST):
Jobless Claims – 8:30am
Personal Income and Outlays – 8:30am
Chicago PMI – 9:45am
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index – 9:45am
Consumer Sentiment – 10:00am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count – 1:00pm

Gold closed at $1,330.00 an ounce, down $12.00
Silver closed at $16.25 an ounce, down $0.29
Copper finished at $3.00 a pound, unchanged
Crude Oil closed at $64.64 a barrel, down $0.24
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) settled at $11.28 down $0.67

Make it a great day!

Todd Mitchell