Despite the small losses at the close, Friday was an especially tricky session with a lot of volatility. Many of the leading groups we had cited yesterday reversed pretty sharply today, especially the oil stocks. Where yesterday the focus of sector strength was on offensive groups, today it reverted back to the action Monday where defensives led. Further, mid afternoon a Bloomberg story about poor sales in February out of Walmart (WMT) crushed the retail sector as the algos that scan headline sold just about anything to do with retailing en masse. So while the action at the surface of the market seemed calm, there was actually a lot happening underneath. As for the indexes the S&P 500 fell 0.1% and the NASDAQ 0.21%. With all that said, it was the seventh(!) straight up week for the S&P 500 (barely), while the NASDAQ finished slightly in the red.
The S&P 500 once again came down to touch the 10 day moving average before bouncing.
As for the NASDAQ you can see clearly why resistance is called resistance.
February monthly sales are a "total disaster," wrote a Wal-Mart vice president in an internal email to executives, according to a report from Bloomberg, driven by payroll-tax increases that hit consumers.
You may say so what, but with 1 in every 10 dollars in America spent at this store it could be a sign of things to come. You can see below the nearly tick for tick reaction in the market.
Energy was a frustrating sector as crude oil fell right back into this range it has been stuck in after a second failed attempt at breaking out.
Turning to other commodities we saw breakdowns in silver and gold this week - this shows why it is better to focus on strength rather than weakness, and in retrospect the inability of these metals to join the broader market was a good signal to short them. Gold never even made a real attempt at trying to break through this long descending resistance line, while silver broke out of a recent triangle it had formed to the downside - and hard.
Remember markets are closed Mondy for President's Day so we'll see you Tuesday.