Markets eked out fractional gains Thursday to end the holiday shortened week, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both rising everyday of the week. The S&P 500 rose 2.7% on the week and is up .9% YTD. The Nasdaq put in a nice week gaining 2.4%, trying to find some footing after the previous 3 weeks 6.6% combined loss in elevated trade. The Nasdaq is now down YTD with a loss of 1.9%. Its 200 day acted like a springboard on Tuesday and continued its rise throughout the week. The tech rich index did manage Friday to muster out that small gain even with one of its largest components GOOG disappointing and falling 3.7%. The benchmark will be put to the test next week with heavyweights AAPL BIIB on Wednesday, and AMZN MSFT on Thursday. AMZN and BIIB are 20 and 19% off their most recent 52 week highs. In the energy space, which continues to roll along had a couple of their own big dogs report Thursday with BHI gaining 3% but putting in a shooting star formation. BHI reversed off the round 70 handle. SLB recorded a bearish outside falling 1% and below the round par figure. Peer HAL will report on Monday and these 3 have become the undisputed leaders in the energy services field. As some groups gain, others continue to fall, and the spotlight is now shining brightly on the building group. The XHB is now down 5 of the last 7 weeks with no accumulation weeks in that span. This week the ETF showed weak relative strength advancing just .6%, and recovering very little of the prior weeks 4.3% loss. Interestingly there are only 2 pure play homebuilders in the top 10 holdings of the ETF, with both PHM and DHI more than 22% of their recent 52 week highs. The “bears” are finding comfortable “shelter” within the sector.

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