Volatility Giving Neutral Reading Ahead of Fed News

U.S. markets were tentative on Thursday while trading on both sides of the ledger as Wall Street awaits Fed Chairman’s comments from the annual central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday. An early session inverted yield curve caused some nervousness as algorithms triggered to create some selling pressure as the 10-year treasury yield briefly fell back below its 2-year counterpart.

The news and reaction wasn’t as dramatic as the prior inverted yield curve selloff from last week as the major indexes recovered to push higher highs before settling mixed. Volatility ticked higher but was able to hold key resistance levels while giving a neutral reading heading into Friday’s Fed update.

The Dow gained 0.2% after trading to an intraday high of 26,388. Near-term and lower resistance at 26,200-26,400 was cleared and held with more important barriers at 26,600 and the 50-day moving average.

The S&P 500 was down just over a point, or 0.1%, following the intraday fade to 2,904. Near-term and upper support at 2,900-2,875 held with backup help at 2,850-2,825.

The Russell 2000 dipped 0.3% after testing a first half low of 1,500. Current and upper support at 1,500-1,485 held by a third of a point with a close below the latter reopening risk towards 1,475-1,460.

The Nasdaq declined 0.4% following the back-test to 7,937 and close back below the 8,000 level. Current and upper support at 7,950-7,900 was breached but held with risk towards 7,850-7,800 on a close below the latter.

Financials advanced 0.7% to lead sector strength while Consumer Staples and Real Estate gained 0.5%. Materials were the weakest sector after falling 0.7% while Healthcare and Energy dropped 0.5%.