Markets finished Friday as they did for the week, with the Nasdaq doubling the daily gains of the S&P 500, up .44%. Curious was the action in the small cap S&P 600, which FELL slightly for the week, failing to keep pace. For the week, the Nasdaq outperformed with a 1% move compared to that of the S&P 500’s .6%. The tech heavy Nasdaq just missed a bullish outside week. Volume concerns were not evident this week as the first full week of 2014 saw active trading, a bullish sign. The jobs report Friday morning was unappealing to be nice, as bad weather was the excuse most commonly heard. Imagine telling your employees, or your higher ups telling you, your pay will be held up because of the weather. Don’t think so. Did we hit a “soft patch” in hiring? More like quicksand. Consumer spending figures continue to come in rosy, but retailers are painting a different picture. Seems like everyday there is another debacle. DSW today lost 3.5%, and fell everyday this week losing 8%. It is now off 16% from its all time highs made 6 weeks ago, and sitting at 200 day support. How often can we say WFM is in a bear market? Its been lower 8 of the last 11 weeks and 19.9% off its most recent all time highs set back in late October. We will round the 19.9% off to the 20% threshold. FNP, the former LIZ, will now become Kate Spade. It fell 4% this week, and the name change? Want another one? SHLD was underwater by more than 20% this week, and this after being down 24% the week ending 12/6/13. Enough said. Markets, however, caught their stride just before lunch and went out on highs for the session. For the third consecutive day, the Nasdaq saw gains in the late afternoon. That is undeniably bullish behavior and I am getting the feeling less optimistic investors may be eager to join the party, after getting chopped up trying to short. That is, of course, unless you are short retailers.

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