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Mild Strength Across Market Indexes

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It’s a new record high for both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes again today, though both are down a tad from all-time intra-day highs today (S&P) and yesterday (Nasdaq). The Dow notched its first close in the green this week, +0.37%. Since Monday morning, the Dow is now only down -0.05%. The small-cap Russell 2000 beat the field again today, +0.74%, to reach its highest close since late June.

We’ve remained in a narrow trading range here at the end of summer, right before Labor Day weekend. Historically, this means low relative volume and few catalysts to swing momentum in either direction. Aside from the traders on vacation and other Dog Days expectations, this week has been fairly strong with economic metrics, though none have pushed the needle much.

Other than Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims reported ahead of the open this morning — both which kept up the procession of new post-pandemic lows intact. The U.S. Trade Deficit improved, and revisions to Q2 Productivity and Unit Labor Costs described a healthy economy. After the market opened today, Factory Orders slipped from the previous month, as expected, but outperformed expectations. Core Capital Goods rose month over month.

In short, there’s little to find fault with in our current economy. There have been plenty of hiccups since the Great Reopening began in earnest this past spring, but with gradual inflation creep, improving job and wage figures, and a still-dovish Fed keeping accommodative policy in place, things are pretty peachy here in early September.

Tomorrow, we’ll see the big nonfarm payrolls report from the U.S. government, in which 720K new jobs are expected to have been filled for the month of August. This is higher than the trailing monthly average year to date of 630K, but is down from the 900K+ reads we saw for both June and July. The Unemployment Rate is expected to drop a couple more notches to 5.2%. This would mark a new post-Covid low.

After the closing bell, chip-making major Broadcom (AVGO - Free Report) outperformed expectations on both top and bottom lines in its fiscal Q3: earnings of $6.96 per share on $6.78 billion in quarterly billings surpassed the $6.88 per share and $6.76 billion, respectively. The company also guided to record revenues in Q4 to $7.35 billion — ahead of the Zacks consensus $7.26 billion. Yet the stock continues to outperform the S&P year to date, and is down slightly in late trading.

Docusign (DOCU - Free Report) reported Q2 adjusted earnings that also beat expectations, to 47 cents per share — past the 39-cent estimate and the 17 cents per share reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $511.8 million bettered the $482.5 million analysts were looking for, up 47% from a year ago. Shares of Docusign had really blasted off in mid-June, up more than +30% year to date. It’s giving about -2% of that back in after hours.

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