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Market Lab Report - Pre-Market Pulse for Thursday, May 10, 2018

Major averages continued higher on increased volume as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials Indexes joined the NASDAQ Composite and small-cap Russell 2000 Indexes above their 50-dmas. For now, the market is in a firm uptrend, with the 50-dma serving as a convenient support guide.

Futures are up on news the Bank of England left its key interest rate at 0.5%, meeting widely held expectations. A string of disappointing data, especially the weak first-quarter growth number, had pushed the odds of a rate hike down to just 10%. To reflect its struggling economy, the bank cut its GDP forecast to 1.4% in its Quarterly Inflation Report. The size of the bank's asset purchase program was held at £435 billion ($591 billion) and the corporate-bond purchase program was left at £10 billion. Thus the pace of QE from the Bank of England remains near record highs. This remains true with other global central banks. The UK central bank last November hiked rates for the first time in a decade. Given lackluster economic growth in the UK, this could be a one-time event.

In other economic news, the number of people who applied for US unemployment benefits in early May stood at 211,000 for the second straight week, keeping initial jobless claims near a 49-year low. Of course, much of newly created jobs have been near the poverty level as well as temp jobs.

Focus List Notes:
Focus List names continue to move higher with the market, and have provide reasonable vehicles for riding the current market upside. We feel that focusing on quality in a difficult market makes investors' jobs easier, although many names are acting well in this market.
AMZN, NFLX, and NVDA all drifted higher on average or lighter volume. NVDA also broke out to new all-time highs ahead of today's expected earnings report after the close.
FTNT recovered nicely after finding support at its 50-dma last week after reporting earnings. It broke out today to new highs on strong volume.
SQ has continued to push higher after posting a pocket pivot last week below its 50-dma. Yesterday, it found intraday support at the 50-dma on strong volume and is now trading back new its prior 52-week highs.

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