Staples Diet:

Whether one disputes what is healthy leadership, one has to acknowledge firm PRICE action when they see it. In this type of market where most things are lower we are talking on a relative basis. On an absolute basis, it is hard to get excited about much. But give credit where it is due as the staples are the best major S&P sector on a one-week and three-month look back period. The XLP itself is hard to get bullish on until it can clear its 200-day SMA to the upside above 74. That secular line once support has become stern resistance. But remember all stocks are judged on their own individual merit and the staples have seen much shine. Of course, there will be exceptions and one can see that in CAG today down 7% after meeting resistance FIVE times in the 34 area. On the flip side, WMT rose 2% and was higher most of Thursday, even early on when the benchmarks were their softest. COST and STZ charts are looking productive as they build the right side of potential bases. In this time of major confusion, it does not mean to stop doing rigorous homework. In this messy maelstrom, the next leaders are taking shape.

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