Markets made it six consecutive gains for the Nasdaq and S&P 500 and the Nasdaq outperformed Thursday gaining .7% compared to the S&P 500’s rise of .4% and the Russell 2000 eked out a fractional move higher. On the Nasdaq the last 6 sessions were accompanied by lighter volume each day but it still trades at all time highs and is looking to resume its leadership as it is jumped 2% for the week headed into Friday and the S&P 500 has added 1.4% (it is now traded above last weeks questionable spinning top candle, but it did bounce almost precisely off the very round 6000 candle). The benchmarks have dealt with plenty of issues this week as it climbs the wall of worry and one has to be impressed with its action in the face of the England attack and the Moodys downgrade on Chinese debt. Displaying the evidence that things in motion tend to stay in motion in whatever direction they are traveling the energy names were the laggards with the XLE slumping 1.8% and now lower by 2.3% for the week thus far. Below is the chart of former best of breed equipment play SLB and how it was profiled in our Tuesday 5/23 Game Plan. It has now declined 12 of the last 17 weeks and is lower by 3.3% this week so far and sits in bear market mode 21% off most recent 52 week highs. Utilities were the second best performer and the XLU hit an all time high breaking above a long 53.12 cup base trigger that began the week ending 7/8/16 and we know the longer the base the greater the potential for success. One who sees the glass half empty would argue that leadership from that sector is suspect which the optimist will side with the thought that the breadth of the ongoing rally is widening.
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