Markets put in a second straight week of robust gains as the Nasdaq led the way Friday with a gain of .7% and for the week rose 3.1% on top of the previous weeks 2.4% move. YTD it is now higher by 3.3%. Another weekly move for the tech heavy benchmark during traditionally strong holiday shortened ones like next, and it will be north of the very round 5000 handle. The S&P 500 rose 2% for the week following the preceding weeks 3% advance. It did stop just short of its own round number, 2100. One gets the feeling risk is back on as the utilities sector continues to be smacked around as they lost 1% Friday. The XLU lost ground for a third consecutive week with each week CLOSING right at intraweek lows. Volume has expanded with each week, not a benign sign to say the least. The ETF has now lost more than 8% over that time frame and it looks headed to the hopefully comforting 200 day SMA about 2.5% AWAY. Energy and materials were the winners and did I really have to tell you that. Few weeks back one wondered, including myself, if this was a dead cat bounce in the group but as time goes on one has to push those bearish viewpoints to the side. The XOP which we have spoken of in length recently a very nice recovery off the round 50 handle Wednesday. Since taking out that very round number on 2/3, it has traded below it intraday on 3 occasions but CLOSED above every time. Very “slick” action if you know what I mean.

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