Today's headline news event may not be the Personal Consumption Expenditures report, but not because it isn't an important data point. We already know the Fed watches this report closely. While I wish there was a boundary between politics and the stock market, that isn't a reality. And that will be as evident as ever today as a grand jury has voted to indict former President Donald Trump. To be clear, this indictment should have an impact on stocks. But while outlets such as CNBC will devote an abundance of time covering the story, as an investor, the whole thing is generally irrelevant.
Turning to the indexes, while the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) finished Thursday's regular session in the black, trading volume was low, the intraday range was narrow, and both ETFs finished the day close to where they began it. Simply put, Thursday's regular session was a snoozefest.
The iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) , which I wrote about yesterday, traded about as expected given its proximity to its declining 21-day exponential moving average (EMA). The ETF traded into its 21-day EMA shortly after the regular session open and was immediately rejected. Like the QQQ and SPY, trading volume on the IWM was very light. That, along with the ETF managing to hold above its shorter timeframe, 5-day and 10-day EMAs, is enough for me to remain neutral rather than pivoting back toward a bearish posture. If you're trading the IWM, I would continue to use a closing stop under the 5-day EMA as your cut-bait level.
On another note, have you looked at gold recently? The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) is testing year-ago highs and the VanEck Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and VanEck Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) both have sprung back to life over the past few weeks. My only position in the gold space is Newmont Corp. (NEM) , but charts such as Barrick Gold (GOLD) , Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) and several of the royalty plays such as Franco-Nevada (FNV) look pretty appealing. The next hurdle for gold bugs is to see the futures market begin accepting prices above $2,000.