U.S. markets avoided their first 3-session losing streak of the year, for the most part, after rallying into the closing bell to finish slightly higher on Friday. Much of the nervousness was attributed to trade talk concerns as the White House confirmed that Presidents Trump and Xi will not meet before the March 1st deadline for tariff action.
If the U.S. and Chinese negotiators can’t come to a new agreement, the U.S. is expected to raise import taxes from 10% to 25% for $200 billion in Chinese goods. Despite the concerns, the Dow and Nasdaq were able to extended their winning streak to 7-straight weeks.
The Nasdaq edged up 0.1% following the late day run to 7,299. Lower resistance from earlier this month at 7,300-7,350 held with a move above the latter getting 7,400-7,450 and the 200-day moving average back in play.
The Russell 2000 climbed 0.1% despite falling below 1,500 but a level that held for the 2nd-straight session. Prior resistance at 1,510-1,520 remains in focus with continued closes above 1,525 signaling a return to higher highs.
For the week, Tech was up 0.5% while the small-caps rose 0.3%.
The S&P 500 also added 0.1% after rebounding 27 points off the intraday low to reach a late session high of 2,708. Resistance remains at 2,725-2,750 and the 200-day moving average with a move above the latter signaling additional momentum.
The Dow was unable to snap a 2-session slide after testing and intraday low of 24,883. Fresh and upper support at 25,000-24,800 and the 200-day moving average held for the 2nd-straight session.
The blue-chips were higher by 0.2% for the week while the S&P 500 nudged up 0.1%.
Communication Services and Technology showed the most sector strength on Friday after rising 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively. Financials and Energy led sector weakness after sliding 0.5%.
For the week, Technology and Industrials advanced 2% and 1.7% while Communication Services sank 1.5%. 2.2%. Materials and Technology stumbled 1.4%.
Archer Daniels (ADM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
GrubHub (GRUB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Rayonier (RYN) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays
Kellogg (K) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Pivotal Research
Synaptics (SYNA) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Monday Before the Open (EST):
Avaya Holdings (AVYA), CNA Financial (CNA), Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO), General Finance (GFN), Kemper (KMPR), Loews (L), Mercury General (MCY), Motorcar Parts of America (MPAA), NGL Energy Partners (NGL), Restaurants Brands International (QSR)
Monday After the Close (EST): Albany International (AMBR), Bruker (BRKR), Chegg (CHGG), DCP Midstream (DCP), Farmer Brothers (FARM), Livent (LTHM), LiveRamp Holdings (RAMP), MoneyGram International (MGI), Multi-Color (LABL), Omega HealthCare (OHI), RCI Hospitality Holdings (RICK), RingCentral (RNG), Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK), Varonis Systems (VRNS), Veeco Instruments (VEECO), Vornado Realty (VNO))
UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS
Monday’s Economic Reports (EST):
No major announcements.
METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1,318.50 an ounce, up $4.30
Silver settled at $15.81 an ounce, up $0.10
Copper finished at $2.81 a pound, down $0.01
Crude Oil is at $52.53 a barrel, down $0.12
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $4.46, up $0.59