Markets concluded the week Friday with big gains, albeit on light trade. The S&P 500 led the way Friday with a 1.1% move reclaiming the round 1800 handle, but on a weekly basis was lower by the narrowest of margins, ending the 8 week winning streak. The Nasdaq was up .7% and finished up by a very slim amount. The Nasdaq heading into the year end maintains its commanding lead over the S&P 500 with a 34.5% to 26.6% score. The inspired move Friday came on the back of a well received jobs report. Other economic data came in came in rosy with ISM and GDP coming in better than expected. Benchmarks leapt in spite of the worries of tapering that may be coming sooner than anticipated. We discussed Friday the possibilities of catalysts to move the markets further north. Perhaps this Fed will remain cautious and continue QE even with evidence of a strengthening economy. Not sure how many have entertained that cooperative combination. Big concerns however continue to be the action of some crucial sectors such as retail and energy. Retail is a wonderful indicator of how well the consumer is faring and energy weakness could be a signal of economic contraction. ULTA from the retail group lost 25% during the 2 day span of Thursday and Friday. It has now lost ground for 8 consecutive days. AEO fell 10% Friday, while BIG lost 12%. Former best of breed energy names like EOG PXD GTLS CLR CXO OAS SM WLL FANG all lost significant ground on a very benign tape Friday. Keep in mind crude did have a banner week up 5%. Hardly the move that will “energize” investors to pour capital into markets that have already enjoyed a stellar year thus far.
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