Wall Street struggled for direction after trading in tight ranges for the second straight session, but closed higher on strength into the closing bell — and more in Friday’s stock market recap.
The gains helped the major indexes close higher for the second straight week to extend February’s rally with the stock market closed on Monday for Presidents Day.
The Nasdaq added 0.5% after reaching a peak of 14,102.
The S&P 500 also rose 0.5% following the late-day run to 3,937 and fresh all-time high.
The Russell 2000 nudged up 0.2% with the midday high reaching 2,293.
The Dow added 0.1% after testing a final-hour high of 31,475.
For the week, Nasdaq soared 1.7%; the Russell 2000 rallied 1.6%; the S&P 500 jumped 1.2%; and the Dow was up 1%.
Energy and Materials paced sector strength with gains of 1.5% and 1%, respectively. Utilities and Real Estate were the only sector laggards after declining 0.7% and 0.03%.
Shares of LoanDepot Inc. (NYSE: LDI) surged 43% in its second day of trading on no specific news. The stock opened at $14 in its initial public offering of 3,850,000 shares on Thursday. The deal size was slashed from 15 million shares and a previous price range of $19-$21.
The company sells both mortgage and non-mortgage lending products and is the second largest non-bank provider of direct-to-consumer loans in the United States.
The percentage of Nasdaq 100 stocks trading above the 50-day moving averge closed at 71.54%, up 0.98%. Near-term and lower resistance at 72.5%-75% was challenged but held. A move above the latter would indicate a retest towards 77.5%-80% and slightly overbought levels from late January. Support is at 70%-67.5%.
The percentage of S&P 500 stocks trading above the 200-day moving average settled at 87.25%, down 0.98%. Current and upper support at 87.5%-85% failed to hold. A close below the latter would signal weakness towards 82.5%-80%. Resistance is at 90%-92.5% with the latter representing overbought levels from late November.
From the global stock market recap, European markets showed strength despite disappointing economic news.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 rallied 0.9%. The Belgium20, France’s CAC 40 and the Stoxx 600 rose 0.6%. Germany’s DAX 30 edged up 0.1%.
The U.K.’s economy slumped 9.9% in 2020, its biggest yearly drop in output since modern records began.
Asian markets settled lower in limited action as South Korea’s Kospi, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai were closed for a holiday.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.6% and Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.1%.
Consumer Sentiment fell -2.8 points to 76.2 in the February preliminary print, versus forecasts for a reading of 80.9, which follows the -1.7 point drop to 79 in January. Nearly all of the weakness was in the expectations component which slumped -4.2 points to 69.8 after falling -0.6 ticks in January to 74. The current conditions slipped -0.5 points to 86.2 following the -3.3 point drop to 86.7 last month. The one-year price gauge climbed to 3.3% after jumping to 3% previously. The five-year inflation measure was unchanged at 2.7%.
Baker-Hughes reported the U.S. rig count was up five from last week to 397 with oil rigs up seven to 306, gas rigs down two to 90 and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at one. The U.S. Rig Count is down 393 rigs from last year’s count of 790, with oil rigs lower by 372, gas rigs off 20 and miscellaneous rigs down one. The U.S. Offshore Rig Count was up one to 17, but down six year-over-year.
The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (Nasdaq: TLT) was down for the second straight session with the afternoon low hitting $147.03. Prior and upper support from last March at $147.50-$147 was breached and failed to hold. A close below the latter would signal ongoing weakness towards $146-$145.50.
Lowered resistance is at $148-$148.50.
The iPath S&P Vix Short-Term Futures (NYSEArca: VIX) was down for the second straight session after tapping a low of 19.95 ahead of the closing bell. Near-term and upper support at 20-19.50 was recovered. A close below the latter and the November low at 19.51 would be an ongoing bullish signal for the market.
Lowered resistance is at 21.50-22.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) was up for the second straight session after trading to a late-day and all-time high of $392.90. Unchartered territory and lower resistance at $392.50-$393 was cleared and held. A close above the latter would indicate additional momentum towards $394.50-$395.
Support is at $391.50-$391 followed by $390-$389.50.
RSI is curling higher with lower resistance at 65-70 getting cleared and holding. A close above the latter would suggest additional strength towards 75-80 and levels from late August/ early September. Support is at 60.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSE: XLV) extended its winning streak to seven sessions with the intraday peak reaching $117.41. Current and lower resistance at $117-$117.50 was recovered. A close above the latter would signal continued strength towards $118-$118.50 with the current record high at $118.99.
Support is at $116-$115.50 with backup help at $114.50-$114.
RSI remains in an uptrend with lower resistance at 55-60 getting recovered. A close above the latter would indicate additional upside towards 65-70. Support is at 50-45.
Check back after the closing bell for the most important news and numbers in the WealthPress stock market recap.