Markets scored nice gains on Thursday, although off session highs, following through on their decent reversals from Wednesday. All of the big four benchmarks are still underneath their 50 day SMAs except for the Russell 2000 at the moment, and the Russell was the laggard today as it gained .5%. It was certainly refreshing to see the Nasdaq lead, advancing 1.6%, with some earnings to help the index, most notably FB. The stock rose 9% recapturing both its 50 and 200 day SMAs in the process, and its next test could come from the upside gap potential fill from the 3/16 session. AMD helped as well gaining more than 13%. “Old tech” play EBAY was sour today as it slumped 5.6%, and the name it spun off PYPL impressed delivering an advance of 2.7% although it did finish off session highs. For the week thus far with one day left, it feels longer to me, the S&P 500 is lower by .1%, the Nasdaq .4% and the Dow by .6%. The VIX did complete a bearish evening star pattern today losing more than 7%, but these formations often work best at highs.
Looking at individual groups Thursday it was a nice sight to see technology near the top of the leaderboard. The XLK rose by 1.8% and one has to give credit, obviously early but it may have made its third lower high since February. It awaits a test at its 50 day SMA just about 1% above and the bulls and bears are having a tug of war down here with wild action as the ETF has gained or lost more than 1% 6 of the last 8 days. Tech was only outdone today by the cyclicals, where retail has a nice presence and this group has been flexing its muscles nicely as of late. Names that contributed today were ORLY and HD, with the latter jumping above its 50 day SMA for the first time in 11 weeks. F also within the group broke firmly above its 200 day SMA, and the name which seems to have been dead money forever, looks good for one day at least. CMG did its part too as it will surely gain this week putting it higher 9 of the last 11. Lagging were the industrials as the XLI CLOSED down .4%, but continues to bounce off its upward sloping 200 day SMA.
Healthcare continues to gain some traction, with the exception of the biotech’s with the XBI down 10% off its most recent 52 week highs. Device plays have been faring well, but today we look at a health care planner UNH. This name is still down 5% from most recent 52 week highs and it is looking for a fifth consecutive weekly gain higher by .8% heading into Friday (if it holds it would be its first since an 8 week winning streak between last May-July). The chart below is how we presented the name in our Tuesday 4/24 Game Plan, is repairing the technical damage from February well, and Wednesday the stock not only put an end to a 5 session losing streak (very tame at that with none of the 5 days falling more than 1%) but filled in a gap from 4/16 recording a bullish hammer candle. Now investors need to watch for an add on above a cup with handle trigger of 242.67.