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Stocks finished off a stellar January with a mini losing streak as the S&P 500 fell 0.26% and NASDAQ 0.01%. Today was the opposite of the past few days whereas money rolled back into the small caps as the Russell 2000 gained 0.58%. This is typical of the market of late as we continue to see a rotation from one group to another. This makes it difficult to create a trend, but always keeps something in the market rolling ahead. However in the broader picture January was the best month the market had since October 2011, with a 5.1% gain. It was the best January since 1997. As for the NASDAQ it gained 4.1% for the month.
For the first time in a few sessions the S&P 500 did not touch the top of its ascending channel, that said it is still in the top half of it...
The NASDAQ remains where it has been for the past 2 weeks...
Tomorrow morning we have the U.S. employment data and ISM Manufacturing - both which tend to move markets. Also overnight are European and Chinese Purchasing managers indexes so we'll see if this is the small pause that refreshes or part of a broader downturn. If the S&P 500 for example simply falls to the bottom end of this channel it will be a healthy development, as moving ever upward into the ether without rest puts the market at risk of toppling over.
There was no theme of the day in terms of leadership, it was a day where things that had fallen off the past week got a bid, and names that had been strong this week sold off.
UPS - which is part of the red hot transport sector fell Thursday as it reported earnings and gave soft guidance:
UPS shares lost 2.4 percent to $79.29 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that were below analysts' estimates and forecasting weaker-than-expected profit for 2013.
You can see in the chart the danger of chasing a stock which is nowhere near support - in 2 days it erased over a week of gains by falling to its 20 day moving average.
Qualcomm (QCOM) which is a tech giant in the mobile chip market had a positive day after its earnings. That said it did finish on its lows, punishing anyone who bought today.
Under Armour (UA) gained 5.7%,after the company said its fourth-quarter earnings jumped 10 percent and the clothing company predicted revenue growth of at least 20 percent in each of the next two years. This has been a troubled chart in the retail space.