Markets for the second consecutive day showed a bit of strength into the close. The late bids that have appeared Tuesday and Wednesday did not bless the benchmarks with big gains however. The Nasdaq inched out a fractional gain finding bids near the round 4000 number and climbing a respectable 33 handles off its intraday low. The S&P 500 was basically unchanged but it found resistance almost precisely at the round 1800 figure which has been talked about incessantly. Looking at the S&P 600 it was the worst performer of the three dropping .35%, not a big figure at first blush, but it is beginning to show some relative weakness. The small caps will act best in a healthy bull, and early weakness from them can reveal some impending weakness. All three are still within close striking range of their recent 52 weeks highs with the Nasdaq, the undisputed leader in 2013, down .8% from its YTD high. The S&P 500 is 1.1% off its 52 week highs, and concerning is the S&P 600’s 2.1% distance from its recent 52 week high. Lets keep a close eye on this to see if the weakness continues. Could very well be a tell. As the SMH works on its ascending triangle I was surprised to see the performance of some of the old school names in the sector. Normally healthy bull markets will shun old leaders, and be supplanted with new emerging names. To some extent that has happened with names like AMBA NXPI, but with names like MU up 243% this year and QCOM and TXN near multi year highs. KLAC was among those old fashioned names that were acting well until todays forecast was updated, and it dropped 3% in huge trade slicing its 50 day Wednesday. No wonder the group has been lagging most of the year.

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