Late-Week Gains Can’t Overcome the Bad Start

Evaluating market performance charts

There were no selloffs on Friday and two of the major indices finished on positive ground, but it wasn't near enough to keep the market's weekly winning streak alive.

In the end, the Dow was off by about 2.3% this week and the NASDAQ was down approximately 2.2%. The S&P dipped 1.6%. The market was coming off of two straight weeks of solid gains, but Monday's downturn pretty much put us behind the 8 ball from the very start. There was basically no green at all until yesterday's bounce and only a very modest follow through today.

One of the big problems has been tech and, more specifically, Apple. The iPhone maker dropped more than 5% on Monday and didn't get above ground until the Thursday rebound. It was up another 1.1% today. Tech received another body blow last night when NVIDIA disappointed on revenue and guidance. The stock plunged nearly 19% on Friday.

Ironically, trade was actually a positive for the market this week. We got news that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and China's Vice Premier Liu He had a conversation. Meanwhile, President Trump has been sounding more optimistic lately, even lifting the market today by stating that further tariffs may not be necessary because China wants to make a deal.

Other administration figures threw some cold water on that, but the market is desperate for any bit of good news on this issue. Sooner or later though, we will need some real progress between the two countries for stocks to have any kind of meaningful benefit. The G-20 meeting in Argentina is looking more and more important by the day.

On Friday, the Dow recovered from a morning drop and ended with a gain of 0.49% (or about 124 points) to 25,413.22, while the S&P advanced 0.22% to 2736.27. The NASDAQ was hurt by the NVIDIA news, but was only down 0.15% to 7247.87.

Next week is Thanksgiving! The market is closed on Thursday and closes early on Friday. Normally, we would see low volumes and less volatility. That would be a nice change after all the craziness over the past several weeks. Let's hope there are no surprises…

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Surprise Trader: The latest retailer to join the portfolio is athletic shoe staple Foot Locker (FL), which has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate for four straight quarters. Last time, it topped by more than 7%, and now FL has a positive Earnings ESP of 2.2% for the quarter coming after the bell on Tuesday. Dave added the stock on Friday with a 12.5% allocation. Read the complete commentary for more.

Insider Trader: Shares of Eldorado Resorts (ERI) have plunged 21% in the past month as gaming stocks got slaughtered in the correction. The CFO and a director considered the selloff to be a great opportunity to buy shares of their own company earlier this week. Tracey also likes that earnings that are expected to soar 103% next year thanks to a couple recent acquisitions. The editor decided to place a bet on ERI by adding the stock on Friday with a 10% allocation. Read the full write-up for a lot more on this new addition.

Counterstrike:"While markets were mixed today, I thought we saw a very constructive session considering a big momentum stock in NVDA was crushed over 18%.

"A mixed market doesn't sound great, but when you take a look at what the VIX did today, it makes me think that next week could be a positive one. The VIX was off almost 6% and fell 18, helping the VXX down over 5%. When the VIX is trading below the VIX futures price it is much healthier for markets.

"The last week we have seen backwardation, which is when the spot price trades above the futures price. In that scenario with the VIX, near term fear is very high, which makes it hard to be long stocks and short and VXX ETF or ETN. Next week we could see some serious pressure on the VIX if the markets rally. The low volume shortened week could really help, but good news is likely needed." -- Jeremy Mullin

Options Trader:"Stocks closed mostly higher on Friday for the second day in a row, but lower for the week. But I was very happy with the week's price action as it finally cleaned up those nagging gaps left on the charts dating all the way back to 10/30.

"As I was saying all week, common chart gaps act as magnets, preventing the market from getting too far ahead of itself before it has to backtrack and fill those in. Because of this, plenty of technicians are reluctant to build new positions until those gaps are closed. But once they are, stocks typically take off.

"And that's exactly what happened on Thursday and Friday. The gaps on the Dow, S&P, Nasdaq, and Russell 2000 were finally filled in, and stocks almost immediately rallied right after. And I'm expecting more gains next week." -- Kevin Matras

Have a Great Weekend,

Jim Giaquinto

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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