Markets finished mildly positive Friday, but well off session highs for a second consecutive session. The Nasdaq is doing so right at its 200 day SMA, and it did CLOSE just underneath. This week the benchmark slightly lagged with a loss of 1.3% compared to the S&P 500’s 1.2% decline. On a YTD basis the S&P 500 remains fractionally higher by .2% while the Nasdaq is firmly in negative territory lower by 3.1%. Looking at indexes we mildly follow for potential clues the IWM lost 1.8% this week and the Dow enjoys the best of the bunch with a .9% YTD jump. Both of those pointers could be interpreted as negative as small caps will tend to lead and the Dow is normally the best acting index in the late stages of a bull market as investors feel most comfortable in defensive, mature names. Was the recent boost the indexes enjoyed from prior lagging groups like healthcare recently (XLV has been pushed back at its 200 day SMA this week) and further back transports healthy rotation or a last gasp of shaky leadership? Time will quickly tell. We are heading into the middle of April which historically is a strong month, but what has really been normal this year. The oil correlation this week did not exist as oil surged 8% with WTI flirting with the round 40 figure once again. Retail continues to act softly and although there are leaders, albeit that list is getting smaller by the day, laggards have been in focus too. Below is the chart of RL how it appeared in our Wednesday Game Plan this week. The stock is 35% off recent highs and looks to continue a series of lower highs and lows that began in January ’15.
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