Markets were flat Wednesday, a welcome sign of calmness after two sessions of big volatility. After the poor start to the week, many would take the weekly gains thus far for the Nasdaq and S&P 500 of .8% and 1.1% respectively. Keep in mind the Nasdaq is looking to make it a 5 week winning streak on Friday. Economic reports of lighter than expected private payroll data failed to do much damage. Energy was among the laggards today as the behemoth in the group XOM fell 3%. Astute technicians would have seen the bearish head and shoulders pattern that was in play. The right clavicle was formed in conjunction with 50 day SMA resistance and the neckline at 95 was pierced easily today. Big giants in any group have the tendency to be laggards, whether its a maturation thing or not, it comes up time and again. Think a CSCO in the networking group, or an INTC in the semi space. It takes a lot to get these names going as it would with turning around a naval supertanker. In the energy space along with previously mentioned XOM, it would be a CVX. It started 2014 on a 5 week losing streak and today had the look of pushing below a bearish rising flag pattern. On a bullish note I am starting to see some green shoots of a better economy, as lethargic as the recovery has been. Some firms are starting to announce price hikes, which may be saying that brighter days may be ahead. Call me a skeptic but companies like USG and ABFS are raising product rates and that should be looked at at least as a glass hall full outlook.

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