Major averages finished mixed on lower volume. The S&P 500 remains in the tightest, sideways pattern in more than 40 years. The NASDAQ Composite, meanwhile, is a hair away from all-time highs while the NASDAQ-100 closed at all-time highs for the first time since last December. Earnings reports for some leading technology stocks have been surprising to the upside, helping the NASDAQ indices outpace the other majors.
The NASDAQ's out-performance has been fueled by shares of big-cap NASDAQ 100 Index companies (NDX) as broader indexes such as the small-cap Russell 2000 and the NYSE Composite Indexes lag. This is similar to what occurred in July of last year, a few weeks before the market sold off hard in August. Whether this develops into the same scenario as last year remains to be seen, but it is a cautionary sign unless we begin to see the broader market break out to higher highs as well.
Futures are slightly lower as European stocks come under pressure due to weakness in the banking sector. European banks have been having serious issues as witnessed by major money center banks such as Deutsche Bank (DB) and Credit Suisse (CS), both which have been plumbing new all-time lows. The banking system was not meant to support negative interest rates. The same goes for pensions and insurance companies.
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