LIVE MARKETS Dow Industrials shoots for seventh straight gain

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  • Major U.S. indexes up slightly
  • U.S. Dec Chicago PMI 63.1 vs 62 estimate
  • Energy leads S&P 500 sector gainers; tech weakest group
  • Euro STOXX 600 index gains ~0.4%
  • Dollar, bitcoin, gold, crude all rise

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DOW INDUSTRIALS SHOOTS FOR SEVENTH-STRAIGHT GAIN (0953 EST/1453 GMT)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) and S&P 500 (.SPX) are both on track for fresh record-high closes early Thursday as a drop in weekly jobless claims showed no impact yet on employment from the surge in U.S. coronavirus infections.

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With this, the blue-chip Dow is on track for a seventh-straight day of gains. The DJI last rose seven days in a row in March of this year. It last gained eight-straight days in late-July/early-August 2020.

Small caps (.RUT) and banks (.SPXBK) are among early outperformers. Meanwhile, given softness in tech (.SPLRCT), and specifically chips (.SOX), the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) is hovering just above flat. The IXIC is still about 2% shy of its Nov. 8 record close.

Here is where markets stand in early trade:

earlytrade12302021

(Terence Gabriel)

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THE APPLE OF THE NASDAQ 100’S EYE (0859 EST/1359 GMT)

Apple (AAPL.O) has come within striking distance of the $3 trillion market cap milestone.

With this, AAPL’s relative strength line vs the Nasdaq 100 (.NDX) is nearing its own important hurdle in the form of a more than 30-year resistance line:

AAPLNDX12302021

Of note, the AAPL/NDX ratio briefly spiked above this barrier in late-August/early September 2020. However, it failed to sustain several one-day breakouts above the line. The stock then topped and suffered a significant decline. AAPL lost around 20% on a closing basis in just 12 trading days (tds) into its late-September 2020 trough.

Then again, in late-December of last year, and late-January of this year, the ratio once again flirted with the resistance line. After it topped, essentially right at the barrier on Jan. 27, AAPL slid around 18% over the next 27 tds into its early-March trough.

The ratio bottomed in early June and then with its Nov. 8 low, it used the support line from early-2019 as a launching pad. AAPL has rocketed about 20% in the 35 tds since then.

With the line around 1.106% in mid-December, the ratio hit a record high of 1.101% on Dec. 15, and has since deflated. Over the coming weeks, the line will ascend to the 1.108%/1.109% area.

The ratio may need to overwhelm this barrier for Apple to sustain its leadership position vs. the NDX. Otherwise, the stock may be close to another bout of instability.

(Terence Gabriel)

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Terence Gabriel is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own

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