S&P 500 Opens Marginally Higher As Initial Jobless Claims Drop

The S&P 500 index opened marginally higher on Thursday, but the upside momentum lacks a punch as a variety of mixed news and data hit the markets. The Initial Jobless Claims for this week were marginally higher than projected but were lower than the previous week’s data.
Despite starting the day in the negative territory, the S&P 500 has picked up steam after initial jobless claims came in at 1877K, which was lower than last week’s figure of 2126K. This indicates that the loss of jobs and filing of unemployment claims for the first time is starting to drop off. Furthermore, calm is beginning to return to cities in the US that were enveloped by riots during the week, and US President Donald Trump said there was probably no need to call in the military.
The gainers on the S&P 500 feature the casino stocks such as MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands. MGM Resorts is up by more than 6.5% after casinos were reopened ln Thursday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are up 3.9% and 3.55% respectively.
However, energy stocks are trading lower after a halt in the surge of crude oil prices. The downside to energy stocks is keeping the upside on the S&P 500 limited, with the index currently trading 0.02% higher.

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Technical Outlook for S&P 500

The S&P 500 has been able to push up towards the 3137.0 resistance, but has failed to break through it. A break of this price level, which also doubles as the 78.6% retracement level from the February swing high to the 18 March swing low, takes the S&P 500 towards the next resistance target at 3257.8. The highs of late January 2020 at 3332.5 are the automatic target if the index advances beyond 3257.8.

On the flip side, failure to break above 3137.0 allows for a rejection and retest of the 3028.3 and possibly the 2961.4 price levels. 2844.3 remains a viable downside target if the S&P 500 experiences a sharp decline, in conformity with the wedge pattern.

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