U.S. markets were tentative throughout the first half of action as Wall Street awaited the release of the minutes from January’s FOMC meeting. The minutes were mostly in-line with expectations, with no concrete news on the balance sheet, and a patient approach to rate policy.
The major indexes reached session peaks ahead of, and just after the Fed minutes, with Tech lagging to session lows on the news, but still closing higher. Word that President Trump could be easing off the hard deadline for increasing tariffs on Chinese goods also helped sentiment after he said the March 1st deadline to complete talks with Beijing is not a magical date.
The Russell 2000 was up for the 8th-straight session after adding 0.5% and testing a high of 1,583. Upper resistance at 1,570-1,580 was cleared and held into the close to keep fresh hurdles at 1,590-1,600 and the 200-day moving average in play.
The Dow gained 0.3% following the late day push to 25,986. Lower resistance at 26,000-26,250 held for the 2nd-straight day with a close above these levels being a continuing bullish signal.
The S&P 500 joined the blue-chips with its 3rd-straight higher close after also advancing 0.2% while peaking at 2,789. Fresh resistance at 2,800-2,825 is now in play as long as 2,775-2,765 holds over the near-term.
The Nasdaq also extended its winning streak to 8 in-a-row after rising 2 points, or 0.03%, while peaking at 7,513 intraday. Lower resistance at 7,500-7,575 was cleared but held for the 2nd-straight session.
Materials led sector strength for the 2nd-straight session after surging 1.7%. Financials rose 0.6% while Industrials and Utilities gained 0.5%.
Real Estate and Communication Services paced sector laggards after giving back 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.
American Axle (AXL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Pfizer (PFE) upgraded to a Neutral from Sell at Citi
Transocean (RIG) was upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at Barcla
CVS Health (CVS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Southwest (LUV) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs
Teva (TEVA) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho
Thursday Before the Open (EST):
Astronics (ATRO), Brady (BRC), Comstock Resources (CRK), Domino’s (DPZ), Floor & Decor Holdings (FND), Gogo (GOGO), Hormel Foods (HRL), InterDigital (IDCC), Marcus (MCS), Newmont Mining (NEM), Photronics (PLAB), Quanta Services (PWR), Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM), Toro (TTC), Wendy’s International (WEN)
Thursday After the Close (EST):
American Homes 4 Rent (AMH), Boyd Gaming (BYD), Cardtronics (CATM), CubeSmart (CUBE), Dropbox (DBX), eHealth (EHTH), Fluor (FLR), Globus Medical (GMED), Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE), Intuit (INTU), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Matson (MATX), New York Mortgage Trust (NYMT), Parsley Energy (PE), Roku (ROKU), Stamps.com (STMP), Trade Desk (TTD), Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT), World Fuel Services (INT), Zillow (Z)
UPCOMING ECONOMIC NEWS
Thursday’s Economic Reports (EST):
Jobless Claims – 8:30am
Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey – 8:30am
Durable Goods Orders – 8:30am
PMI Services Index – 9:45am
Existing Home Sales – 10:00am
Leading Indicators – 10:00am
METALS / OIL
Gold closed at $1,347.90 an ounce, up $3.10
Silver settled at $16.18 an ounce, up $0.21
Copper finished at $2.92 a pound, up $0.05
Crude Oil is at $56.90 a barrel, up $0.83
Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) ended at $4.82, up $0.14
I hope this helps you prepare for the trading day. Make it a great one!
Fed Minutes Show No Surprises