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Markets Quiet As Chevron, Exxon And Walmart Trade Higher

The markets are trading in normal late August fashion with most stocks flat to lower on extremely light volume.  There are a few standouts today that are higher and can be given the credit for keeping the markets flat instead of substantially negative.  Just for reference sake, please be aware there is an in spirit of bear flag on the intra day S&P 500 chart. While normally this pattern has a high probability of playing out to the downside, the light volume snooze fest today makes it more of a 50/50.

The three standouts today are clearly Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT).  These are three of the thirty components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and likely the reason why the index is actually flat on the day instead of lower.  Walmart is the leader, up 2.3% on the day.  Often times Walmart can be looked at as a bearish signal for the economy as it is a lower end retailer.  Should Walmart start to do better, it would show a shift in thinking of the consumer to saving money.  Consumer spending fuels the U.S. economy.  Chevron and Exxon are both up nicely as well even though oil is weaker.

Gareth Soloway
Chief Market Strategist