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Bulls Power Through Geopolitical Tensions for a Strong Finish


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

US equities rebounded nicely from the sideways action yesterday. The S&P 500 rose just 0.3%, but still noched a new all-time closing high at 2,003,37.

More importantly, some key market areas outperformed as the bulls refused to yield to geopolitical tensions and sell risk assets.

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index rose 1.0%, and came within a point of pushing through Wednesday's all-time high.

The Russell 2000 was also solid with a 0.7% gain.

Today's economic data was a bit mixed.

July Personal Income rose 0.2%, which was lower than the 0.3% expected. However, June's figure revised upward to 0.5% from 0.4%.

Personal Spending fell 0.1%, missing the 0.2% gain economists had forecast.

The PCE price index was in-line at 1.6%, as was the 1.5% core reading, which excludes food and energy prices.

On the positive side, the August Chicago PMI, August University of Michigan Sentiment Survey, and August ISM Milwaukee readings all came in better-than-expected.

In technology, momentum names Splunk (SPLK), Veeva Systems (VEEV), and Avago Technologies (AVGO) all staged impressive rallies after reporting strong second-quarter earnings results.

And Tesla Motors (TSLA) rose 2.2% to $269.70 after announcing a deal to build charging stations at 400 China Unicom stores throughout China.

Ukraine continued generating headlines today. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said NATO satellite images showing Russian troop movements were from video games. And Russian President Vladimir Putin applauded the separatists' supposed progress in Ukraine.

World leaders including President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both discussed increasing economic sanctions against Russia. The rhetoric could turn to reality next week at a NATO summit in Wales.

The UK government raised its terror threat level to sever, the fourth highest of its five levels. Prime Minister David Cameron cited new intelligence from Syria and Iraq, and recent terrorist events, for the move.

The geopolitical tension sent crude oil prices higher, boosting energy stocks.

Tuesday's Financial Outlook

The markets will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day.

With the three-day weekend ahead, there's a very good chance we'll be seeing more news out of Ukraine and the Middle East.

On Tuesday, the August ISM Manufacturing and July Construction Spending reports will be released at 10:00 a.m.

There are no major earnings reports on the calendar.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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