Markets ended the week on a positive note as the major averages all CLOSED near session highs, although the gains were negligible with all three finishing near the UNCH mark. The Russell 2000 rose .5%, a clear leader and has completed its V shaped cup base at the 1450 trigger and for the week was the best performer higher by 1.3%. The Russell 2000 YTD is higher by 6.9%, and for those who believe mean reversion it could have some more strength ahead as the Nasdaq, Dow and S&P 500 are all up 19.4, 13.1 and 11.8% in 2017 respectively thus far. For the week the Dow rose .4%, impressive after last weeks gain of 2.2% and the S&P 500 rose .1%, recording a doji weekly candle, but CLOSING above the round 2500 number for a second straight week, and the Nasdaq fell .3%.
Looking at individual groups it was energy and industrials that led Friday with the XLE and XLI gaining .5 and .3%. For the week the XLE rose 2.1% and is higher 15 of the last 17 sessions and the ETF is quickly approaching a downward sloping 200 day SMA (it has lost ground just 2 days in September so far). On a weekly basis the XLE was only outdone by the financials that were higher by 2.7%. There was some real bifurcation this week as energy and financials gained more than 2% the staples and utilities lost 2.4 and 2.8%. For the XLP it was its worst week since 9/9/16, and the XLU was hit the hardest it the last 6 months dropping 2.8%. The XLU has fallen 8 of the last 9 sessions and looks similar to the 9 of 10 day losing streak ending between 6/27-7/11.
Peering into the vast financial arena as the overall group continues to impress we take a look at the investment management firm TROW. Below is how we examined the name in our Tuesday 9/19 Game Plan and it is now above the bull flag trigger of 85.50 and on the weekly chart one can see it is just below all time highs made the week ending 1/2/15 at 88.64. It can be added to above that level, but perhaps one area of caution was the lack of volume accompanied to this weeks breakout as it came on the second lightest weekly volume all year so far.