Volatility Simmers With Record Highs Still in Play

U.S. markets were choppy throughout Thursday’s session after trading in wider ranges before settling higher following the latest round of mixed 2Q earnings. News that an impasse over restrictions on Chinese Tech companies also weighed on trade sentiment at the open before the second half recovery.

The afternoon turnaround was helped by Fed speak along with a drop in volatility towards prior support levels. The gains weren’t enough to offset this week’s losses but helped keep the major indexes within striking distance of all-time highs and the possibility of a positive week on a follow through Friday.

The S&P 500 was higher by 0.4% after tapping a 2nd half high of 2,998. Prior and lower resistance at 3,000-3,025 held with Monday’s all-time high at 3,017.

The Nasdaq added 0.3% following the late day push to 8,215. Current and lower resistance at 8,200-8,275 was cleared and held with Monday’s all-time high at 8,264.

The Russell 2000 also rose 0.3% while tapping a high of 1,557 in the final hour of action. Current and lower resistance at 1,560-1,575 was challenged but held with a move above the latter being a more bullish signal for additional strength.

The Dow was up 3 points, or 0.01% after trading in a 198-point range while testing an intraday high of 27,266. Near-term and lower resistance at 27,250-27,500 was tripped but held with Tuesday’s record peak at 27,398.

Utilities, Financials and Technology paced sector strength after advancing 0.8% while Consumer Staples gained 0.7%.

Communication Services led sector laggards after falling 0.9% while Consumer Discretionary and Real Estate dipped 0.1%.

I hope this helps you prepare for the trading day. Make it a great one!