Stocks Fight for Gains in Volatile Session

Given the rough and frustrating month we’re having, ANY positive session should be appreciated at the moment. 

Take today as an example. Stocks had a volatile session on Thursday that ended with slight advances for each of the major indices. It was nothing to write home about, but was a nice reversal from yesterday's sharp losses.

The NASDAQ rose by 0.37% (or just under 40 points) to 10,627.27, while the S&P increased 0.30% to 3246.59. The Dow moved more than 200 points in both directions today before settling with a rise of 0.20% (or around 52 points) to 26,815.44.

It's the second time this week with gains across the board, though it's a bit underwhelming compared to last Tuesday when two of the indices climbed more than 1% each.

Tech also saw a welcomed turnaround with all of the FAANGs moving higher, including a more than 1% increase for Apple (AAPL).

The other names had more modest advances, but we'll take anything we can get after yesterday’s shellacking that saw three of these former market leaders plunge by over 4%.

If its Thursday, then it must be jobless claims day. Last week, approximately 870,000 people filed. The result fell short of expectations and was slightly higher than the previous week, so most folks are understandably calling it a disappointment.

However, this does mark the fourth straight week under 1 million claims, which was a big milestone not too long ago. Furthermore, continuing claims were down slightly.

Do you know when its good to be OVER 1 million (other than in your bank account of course)? When you’re talking about new home sales! This report jumped nearly 5% last month to 1.01 million units, which is the highest its been in 14 years.

Stocks have dropped for three straight weeks now, and unfortunately it looks like that will be stretched to four.

The indices go into Friday’s session solidly lower for the week. The Dow is off by more than 3%, while the S&P and NASDAQ are off by over 2% and 1%, respectively.

Still, a strong session tomorrow would be a great way to start the weekend. Let’s see what happens...

Today's Portfolio Highlights:

Counterstrike: Strong home sales had Jeremy thinking about stocks that would benefit from this trend… and he found a niche name that’s down 30% from recent highs. Lumber Liquidators (LL) is a specialty retailer of hardwood flooring that has a lot of ground to recover after pulling back from a runup in early August. The editor took a small 4% position in LL today in anticipation of a move higher, and will add more when he sees confirmation. Speaking of enhancing existing positions, the portfolio added 5% more to Advance Auto Parts (AAP) on Thursday as the stock nears its 200-day moving average. Read the full write-up for a lot more on today’s moves. 

Value Investor: The market really liked what it heard from Exact Sciences (EXAS) at a recent industry summit. The cancer diagnostics company, which is best known for its Cologuard test, offered good preliminary data for a multicancer liquid biopsy screening test. Investors liked the news so much that shares of EXAS skyrocketed by 26.9% on Thursday, which easily made it the best performing stock of the day among all ZU names. The stock is now up nearly 40% in the portfolio since being added in early April. The service actually had two names in the Top 5 today as B2Gold Corp. (BTG) advanced 5.4%.

Commodity Innovators: Silver has sold off so aggressively of late that Jeremy considers it a buying opportunity right now. In fact, if the stimulus talks return, then so too should the silver and gold spaces. The editor plans to take advantage of the eventual bounce back by adding iShares Silver Trust (SLV) today. This is a technical buy with expectations that SLV will work its way back to the 50-day around $24. Read the complete commentary for more on this addition, along with specifics on the exit of Chevron (CVX).

Have a Good Evening,
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.


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