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The S&P 500 Will Hit 2,460 (But You Won’t Like When)

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On Friday stocks ended a range-bound week with a modest rally that resulted in new closing highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq . Higher-than-expected corporate earnings and a strong April jobs report were attributed to the strong close. The S&P 500 rose 0.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%, the Nasdaq gained 0.4% and the Russell 2000 jumped 0.6%.

Monday’s Vital Data: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), Bank of America Corp (BAC) and Tesla Inc (TSLA)

On the options front, volume remained fairly average on Friday, with about 15.3 million calls and 12.6 million puts changing hands. On the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio rose slightly to 0.54, though the recent attention to calls dropped the 10-day moving average to 0.64 from Thursday's two-month high of 0.66.

For the week, the S&P 500 rose 0.6% due to a better-than-forecast Employment Situation Report showing that nonfarm payrolls advanced to 211,000 vs. a consensus estimate of 180,000. And a lower-than-expected unemployment rate of 4.4% vs. an estimate of 4.6% helped move some buyers out of cash and defensive positions.

FactSet pointed out in The Wall Street Journal that technology stocks in the S&P 500 are outperforming all others. They are on track to grow 17% over a year ago. The technology stocks rose 1.4% last week and are up 16% so far this year.

This tech growth has helped to offset the energy sector's decline, which was down 0.7% last week. The decline was due to a fall of 6.3% in the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, which ended the week at $46.22 per barrel, and that after a rebound on Friday of 1.5%.

At the close, the Dow Jones gained 55 points at 21,007, the S&P 500 rose 10 points to 2,399, Nasdaq gained 25 at 6,101, and the Russell 2000 closed at 1,397 for a gain of 8. The NYSE's primary exchange traded 827 million shares with total volume of 3.5 billion shares, and the Nasdaq crossed 1.9 billion shares.

On the Big Board, advancers outpaced decliners by 2.6-to-1, and on the Nasdaq, gainers were ahead by 1.4-to-1. Blocks on the NYSE fell to 6,889 from 7,724 on Thursday.

Analysis

A closing break through the neckline of the S&P 500 at about 2,400 could provide a target of 2,460. This measurement is obtained by adding the 60-point spread from the double-bottom of March/April to the recent breakout close.

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To reach the target of 2,460, lots has to happen to favor buyers: Volume, which thus far has been average (at best), must pick up, along with block trading on the NYSE. Following daily block trading provides a measure of institutional support, and that has been below average. Additionally, just one sector, technology, has consistently led, and if that falters the momentum of Friday's new high will be lost.

And with this as a background, we enter the traditionally slower summer months.

In my opinion, the S&P 500 will achieve the 2,460 target, but not until Q4.

Today's Trading Landscape

To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here .

For a list of this week's economic reports due out, click here .

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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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