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US stocks again whipsawed between positive and negative territory but finished the session in the black. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher led by gains in the Healthcare sector. Energy bucked the trend. The dollar gained traction on Friday, following a stronger than expected durable goods orders report. The VIX volatility index moved lower, as riskier assets were able to move higher. After losing ground for 3-consecutive weeks, the Nasdaq 100 finally settled in the black. Next week markets will begin to focus on the US ISM manufacturing report on Thursday and the employment report scheduled to be released on Friday. Concerns over the November election continue to buoy implied volatility.

After declining for 3-consecutive weeks, the Nasdaq finally took back its position as the leader. The Nasdaq had underperformed the broader S&P 500 index during the prior three weeks but this week rebounded and outperformed. For stocks to continue their trend higher, they will need to large-cap tech stocks to retake the mantle.

House Looks to Pass Stimulus Bill

The House of Representatives is attempting to push forward a $2.4 trillion stimulus bill next week. This is well off the much larger $3.4 trillion stimulus package approved in May.  There White House and Senate Republicans are still far away from the House number. The White House has room to $1.5 trillion, but the Republicans have problems finding a consensus closer to $1 trillion.


Durable Goods Orders Rise More than Expected

US Durable Goods Order rose 0.4% in August after jumping 11.7% in July. Expectations were for a small decline. Durable goods orders were supported by a 0.5% rise in orders for transportation equipment. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, rose 1.8% last month, according to the Commerce Department. Data for July was revised up to show that core capital goods orders rose 2.5% instead of 1.9% as previously estimated.

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