Goodbye August, Hello September!
The bulls got their 2-straight win on Thursday but it's the bears who still own the week and the month of August as we wind down the final day ahead of what could be a very volatile September.
The Dow added 16 points, or 0.1%, to close at 14,840. The blue-chips dipped to a low of 14,792 at the open but easily recovered and made a run to 14,916 before nearly giving it all back. We mentioned yesterday the bulls would need to clear 15,000 to regain some momentum into next week while the bears are trying to keep the action below 14,800.
The S&P 500 gained 3 points, or 0.2%, to end at 1,638. The index reached a peak of 1,646 after trading down to 1,630 at the open but failed at 1,650 again. We mentioned a trading range of 1,625-1,650 could last into today's close so let's see what happens.
The Nasdaq was up 27 points, or 0.8%, and finished at 3,620. Tech peaked at 3,635 and we said a close above 3,625 would be bullish for further upside, A a drop below 3,600 today could lead to a retest of 3,550-3,500 next week.
The Russell 2000 advanced 10 points, or 1%, to settle at 1,026.94. The small-caps traded to a high of 1,029 and cleared 1,025 in the process. Resistance is at 1,040 and then heavier at 1,050 but a close back below 1,025 keeps 1,000 in play.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, $16.81, up 0.32) traded higher and wasn'tnoticed after topping at 16.98. We have warned a close above 17.50 could cause some panic on Wall Street so today's close on the VIX, along with support and resistance levels will need to be watched for clues on what may unfold next week.
As we roll to press, futures are showing a flat open and look like so: Dow (+4), S&P 500 (+2); Nasdaq (+5).
We have a few trades in play this morning and one of them could be a monster as Salesforce.com (CRM, $43.65, up $0.87) soared 8% in after-hours last night. The company reported a better-than-expected quarter and beat estimates by a couple of pennies. We did our homework last weekend and this was the one trade we targeted for an upside earnings surprise and a triple-digit return.
Side Note: Shares are at $47.50, up $3.85, in early morning action so we should get a sweet open on our call options. We will go over their numbers in the midday update.