Markets concluded the week on a euphoric note Friday with the Nasdaq advancing 1.3% and the S&P 500 by 1.2%. On a weekly basis the Nasdaq led the way with a 2.3%, the S&P 500 rose 2.2% and the Dow added 2.1% and the Russell 2000 was higher by just .6%. The big 3 have not recorded a losing week in all of 2018 yet and each of the four weeks CLOSED at highs for the weekly range, just what you technically want to see. The Nasdaq finished above the very round 7000 figure on the first trading day of the year and I thought the very round number would at least be tested, like the 5000 number was in November of ’16 and 6000 abruptly on 5/17/17. Instead it is already half way to its next very round 8000 figure. On its weekly chart it is now 1100 handles above its rising 50 day SMA. It is a little crazy how concerns quickly become erased, for the time being, with a forceful move north. For me it was the semiconductors that were acting poorly recently, and most notably good earnings reports opening robust upon highs and CLOSING swiftly upon their lows. It was the first time in awhile this market had interpreted good news as bad, with the likes of XLNX, CREE and LRCX all recording nasty reversals this week. The trend is not only your friend these days its your BFF for life.
Looking at individual groups Friday the joy was spread far and wide, with all of the major S&P sectors gaining ground, although the utilities via the XLU rose by a scant three pennies. Perhaps that dead cat bounce is DOA even quicker than most could have imagined. The best behaved group today was healthcare as the XLV jumped 2.1%. Today it flew past the very round 90 number, and we know instruments that trade through 90 often reach par and beyond, and had dropped by 3 sessions in all of January with the worst decline just .5%. For the week it was also the strongest gainer with the ETF higher by 3.5%, its best weekly gain in 7 months. The XLY was the second best space as it rose 3.2%, helped along by retailers as the XRT broke and CLOSED above the double bottom trigger of 48.36 in a base that began back in the spring of 2015. Every major S&P sector rose more than 1% for the week and the “laggards” were the industrials and staples adding just 1.2%. The staples are trying very hard to rid the defensive stigma as even though they roe just 1.2% this week it is still following through upon last weeks 2.4% gain which broke above a very tight six week CLOSING period the weeks ending between 12/8/16-1/12/17 which all finished within just .34 of each other.
“Old tech” names have been garnering plenty of attention recently. Of course we had INTC jump 10.5% after a well received earnings report, its best daily gain in years. CSCO is up 19 of the last 23 weeks and 10 of the last 11. MSFT is up nearly a double, but gradually since the intraweek low of 7/1/16. Even BB, yes that BlackBerry is higher by more than 20% in 2018 which is not even a month old. Below is the chart of yet another stout dinosaur performer and how it was profiled in our Wednesday 1/3 Game Plan. It has produced back to back very respectable earnings reactions and this week demonstrated nice relative strength jumping 4.5% and CLOSING above the round 40 number for the first time since the week ending 5/5/15. The 40 figure has relevance as it was fine support between late December ’13-May ’15, and bulls are just happy that long term support dod not become resistance. I would not become surprised if this round number is now support going forward.