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The market continues to play give and take as the bulls buy up every dip lately, and the bears are selling every spike keeping the indices in a tight trading range. The Dow, which was up 94-points at its peak Monday and down 41 at its low, closed up just 2-points. We saw some relative strength from the small caps and particularly the Transports yesterday.
It was a busy week on Wall Street last week, culminating with a double dose of inauspicious news after we learned of the airstrike in Syria and got the March jobs report which came in much lighter than expected. Still, the market held up well in the face of this, and it took a late move lower to push the indices from modest gains to slight losses. The Dow ended the day down 7-points.
Yes, I am still expecting an upside breakout on the major averages sooner or later, but geopolitical tensions can sure challenge a bulls resolve. There was a lot of intrigue surrounding the air strike of a Syrian airbase late last week. The fact that it occurred almost parallel to the wining and dining of the Chinese President and his Generals (who were not given advance notice of the event) by President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate was almost surreal. Futures dove in the early hours on the news,
Traders were put to the test this week as an combination of economic and political news kept everybody on their toes. With a slow start to the new month as it was, things got interesting Wednesday when an ADP payroll report sent stocks rallying in front of the Fed minutes where the headlines was that the Fed's believe stocks were over priced. In case that was wasn't enough to send buyers in retreat, nearly simultaneously House Speaker Paul Ryan made comments about the lack of consensus on the tax
US created only 98,000 jobs in March, vs 180,000 expected
- Nonfarm payrolls up 98,000, unemployment rate at 4.5 percent
- Winter weather, retail slide cited for weakness
- "Real" unemployment rate at 8.9 percent, lowest in more than nine years
More: US created 98,000 jobs in March, vs 180,000 expected