U.S. markets showed opening weakness to push fresh weekly lows into the first half of action before making a strong push afterwards to finish mixed. The breakthrough into positive territory during the second half of action showed signs of a possible bottoming process and comes ahead of Friday’s employment numbers. Volatility spiked on the choppy action but held key levels of resistance on the session lows.
The Russell 2000 was down 0.5% after trading to a low of 1,532 while closing back below its 50-day moving average. The small-caps also held its Tuesday low of 1,527 and was a slightly bullish signal.
The Nasdaq gave back 0.2% following a morning and weekly low of 6,991 but has been holding crucial support at the 7,000 level for 18 sessions. Tech remains trapped between its 50/200-day moving averages.
The S&P 500 stumbled 0.2% after trading to a low of 2,594 before holding 2,600 into the closing bell. The level has been holding since April 3rd with risk to 2,575-2,550 on a close below 2,600.
The Dow was up 5 points, or 0.02% despite trading down to 23,531 while closing below the 24,000 level for the 2nd-straight day. Both the Dow and S&P 500 breached their 200-day moving averages and weekly lows but levels that held into the closing bell.
ANALYST UPGRADES / DOWNGRADES
3M (MMM) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Square (SQ) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Yum! Brands (YUM) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Baird
Caterpillar (CAT) were downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Estee Lauder (EL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Habit Restaurants (HABT) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens
Before the open: Alibaba (BABA), Celgene (CELGWealth Strength IndexCELG is Extremely Down and trending Down), Gaslog (GLOG), ITT Industries (ITT), LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT), Newell Brands (NWL), Ruth’s Hospitality Group (RUTH), VF Corp (VFC)
After the close: BWX Technologies (BWXT)
UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS
Friday’s economic reports (EST):
Jobs Report – 8:30am
Baker-Hughes Rig Count – 1:00pm
METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1,312.70 an ounce, up $7.10
Silver settled at $16.45 an ounce, up $0.07
Copper finished at $3.08 a pound, up $0.01
Crude Oil is at $68.46 a barrel, up $0.53
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $15.20 up $0.76
Make it a great day!
QUOTE OF THE DAY