Markets trades Thursday as though they were never open with the benchmarks CLOSING near the UNCH line. The handle we discussed earlier in the week regarding the S&P 500 has now morphed into a bull flag formation and a resolution should be upon us shortly. These formations are often continuation patterns breaking out in the direction in which they came into. There does seem to be little in the way of euphoria associated with market tops and many continue to sit on the sideline waiting for a pullback which bull markets rarely give the opportunity for. Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are looking for three week winning streak heading into Friday with slim gains as the Nasdaq is ahead by .5% and the S&P 500 by .2%. If these numbers were to hold tomorrow it would also mark the third straight week that the Nasdaq has outperformed the S&P 500 and when tech leads that is often a healthy sign for the markets in general. We mentioned we thought energy leading yesterday was suspect and that group was torpedoed today with the XLE lower by 1.8%. The ETF is now 16% off recent 52 week highs and looking for a fourth consecutive weekly CLOSE at lows for the weekly range, a very poor sign. Among the winning sectors Thursday were the defensive staples, healthcare and utilities which reared their ugly heads. Of course one has to sift through all these sectors to select individual names and an interesting play this week in the myriad of earnings reports that were thrust upon us was NYT. Below is the chart and how it appeared in our Thursday Game Plan and perhaps thinking about it it may been one of the “easiest” (of course nothing is) beats as media plays have garnered a tremendous amount of attention since early November last year. Today it took out a cup base trigger of 16.45 that could have been looked at as a weekly cup with handle trigger going back more than 3 years. Volume has surged this week, as with still one session remaining it already has the largest weekly trade in 17 months. Institutions may be taking note.
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