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S&P 500 Continues Along Exceedingly Tight Range


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

Stocks traded sideways in a repeat of recent action, with a midday dip before a squeeze higher to finish flat.

The S&P 500 finished up just 0.03%, marking the fourth day in a row that its daily change was less than 0.1%.

Commodities showed improvement today, with crude oil, natural gas, and gold notching 2%+ gains. Copper also recovered somewhat from yesterday's losses.

Energy and gold stocks followed along and were among the market's best performing sectors, along with social media and Chinese tech names.

The bounce in oil took some traders by surprise. The International Energy Agency said just this morning that prices could continued dropping next year, assuming no supply shock.

Index leader Apple (AAPL) made yet another all-time high at $114.25 in extended trading following a close at $114.18. Apple's 1.2% rally helped the NASDAQ Composite (COMP) modestly outperform the S&P 500 with a 0.18% gain.

For the second day in a row, the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) topped the list of decliners as traders continue to take profits following the 22% rally between the October 15 low and the October 31 high at $302.98.

In company news, oil services name Baker Hughes (BHI) confirmed that it was in preliminary deal talks with Halliburton (HAL). Both stocks rallied today in concert with the sector. However, Baker Hughes emphasized that the discussions "may or may not lead to any transaction."

Car rental giant Hertz (HTZ) announced that its third-quarter revenues would miss Wall Street's expectations, and that it was expanding the scope of financial restatements announced in June. The stock fell 4.58%.

The preliminary reading of the November University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report was 89.4, above the 86.9 expected.

October Retail Sales were up 0.3%, beating the 0.2% consensus. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.6%, easily beating the 0.4% gain expected.

September Business Inventories rose 0.3%. Economists had predicted a 0.2% increase.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

The Shanghai-HK Connect expange program, which allows non-Chinese investors to trade in local Chinese equities, goes into effect Monday. This could impact trading in Chinese stocks.

Stateside, we'll see November Empire Manufacturing and October Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization numbers, all of which could move the market.

With the S&P trading in such a tight range, traders will be watching for a hard break in either direction. Monday's economic news, along with issues like monetary policy news and Russia/Ukraine headlines, could definitely be drivers in the coming days.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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