Markets were cheerful Thursday as the averages raced off to a good start and was later helped further by mention of tax reform. The Nasdaq rose by .9%, the Russell 200 by 1.2% and the S&P 500 gained .8%. The Nasdaq has the most positive chart out of the previously mentioned group as it is now ever so close to all time highs. The Russell recaptured its 50 day SMA and it and the S&P 500 now have sport good looking cup base formations. It has to be said that the market has absorbed a plethora of bad news and the bears had a slew of opportunities to move it lower, but the tech heavy index refused to break. Bend it did but one must come away impressed by the price action. Headed into Friday the Nasdaq is higher by 1.9% and the S&P 500 by 1.2%. Technology has benefitted by a nice showing in the semiconductor group and some name this week reacted well to earnings, notice I did not say reported, as obviously the reception the stock receives following the report is more important. A name that impressed this week after delivering was LRCX which has gained more than 11%. Even some of the names that have not kept pace with the overall robustness of the space have responded well this week including XLNX and ADI. Below is the chart of XLNX and how it was presented in our Monday 4/17 Game Plan. This name has long been mentioned as a takeover candidate, they never seem to be bought when talked about in that manner, and one should never make trading decisions solely upon that reason. The trigger was NOT hit but it serves as a good illustration how candlesticks are helpful in spotting potential trend changes. Another good development has been the transports trying to make a stand. CSX jumped 5.6% after reporting numbers but notice how it was unable to CLOSE above the very round 50 number, something it was unable to achieve on 3/7 as well recording a bearish engulfing candle. Today it registered a shooting star and perhaps a short term double top. Look for a finish above the 50 figure tomorrow.

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