The bulls gave up a little on Thursday at the open but repeated Wednesday’s results as they were able to take 3-out-of-4 They nearly got a clean sweep but lost an index into the close.
The Dow fell 9 points, 0.1%, to end at 13,973. The blue-chips traded to a low of 13,921 and we mentioned support was moving up as 13,900 held. The bulls are looking for a close above 14,000 by the weekend and yesterday’s peak was 13,990. A print over 14,030 would be bullish for next week.
The S&P 500 gained 1 point, or 0.1%, to settle at 1,520. The index closed at 1,521 after kissing a high of 1,523 while the low checked in at 1,514. We have said to watch the 1,510 level as a warning sign that 1,500 (or worse) could come back into play. A close above 1,525 would be bullish to start next Tuesday’s action and gets 1,550-1,575 on the radar.
The Nasdaq added nearly 2 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 3,198. Tech is still trying to spend the night above 3,200 but faces risk back down to 3,150 the longer it is unable to clear resistance.
The Russell 2000 advanced 3 points, or 0.4%, to close at 923.76. The small-caps reached a peak of 924.68 and came within a third of a point from triggering our next “go” target of 925 which would clear the way for another possible 1% pop to 935. A close below 910 today or next week could be a good indication the Russell 2000 is topping.
The S&P Volatility 500 ($VIX, 12.66, down 0.32) continues to drop and we have said since December we could test the low teens and possibly the single-digits before this 6-week rally ends. Thursday’s low was 12.64.
HerbaLife (HLF, $38.27, up $1.87) could see some massive short-covering today as shares were up $9.08 to $47.35 in extended trading last night. The 24% pop was a result of a disclosure that Carl Ichan has put his money where his mouth is like we knew he would.
Watch the February 50 calls (HLF130216C00050000, $0.02, flat) as they could become a battleground today. They closed at 2 cents and will be in-the-money if shares trade over $50.
Futures are showing a lower start but the bulls are on track to win their seventh-straight week if they can limit the losses or rebound after the open: Dow (xx-12); S&P 500 (-2); Nasdaq 100 (-2).
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