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Stocks Close Flat Amid Trump Threats; Big Week Ahead For Earnings

The major stock indexes closed flat Friday after giving up modest gains, as if to pause before a huge week of earnings.

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The Nasdaq composite, S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average all closed less than 0.1% lower. The Nasdaq was up as much as 0.4% and the S&P 500 0.2%. Small caps, which were Thursday’s winners, were no better Friday. The Russell 2000 fell 0.1% at the closing bell.

Volume fell on the Nasdaq and rose on the NYSE, according to preliminary figures. Decliners were modestly ahead of advancers across the board. The major indexes also closed the week nearly unchanged.

Futures fell early Friday after President Trump said in an interview with CNBC that he’s willing to impose tariffs on all $505 billion in Chinese imports. But once the market opened, indexes had little reaction and were higher in the initial two hours of trading.

Trump also sent out a tweet accusing China of devaluing its currency. He reiterated criticism that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates too much, hurting competition for U.S. companies. The Dow Jones dollar index fell after hitting a more-than one year high on Thursday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury yield was slightly higher.

Microsoft (MSFT) gave the tech sector a boost after shares gapped up to a record high and finished up more than 1%. The software titan late Thursday beat quarterly profits and sales expectations and guided higher for the current quarter. The stock is extended after bouncing off support at the 50-day moving average early this month.

Read more about Microsoft’s ongoing turnaround and strong advance since its 2016 breakout in this prior Stock Market Today column.

Skechers (SKX) topped Stocks On The Move on the downside. The shoe company plunged 21% in huge volume after second-quarter earnings missed expectations.

Skyworks (SWKS) and State Street (STT) were other stocks that sold off in heavy volume after earnings reports. Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), which beat profit views, reversed lower and closed down 0.9%.

Major Earnings Loom

Next week is one of the busiest for second-quarter earnings reports, with scores of announcements including some major companies.

Alphabet (GOOGL) reports Monday, and the report comes just as a breakout attempt at a 1,201.59 correct buy point has stalled. Lockheed Martin (LMT), Biogen (BIIB) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announce Tuesday; Facebook (FB) comes out Wednesday, and Amazon.com (AMZN) on Thursday.

In breakouts, Novanta (NOVT) cleared a flat base with a 68.10 buy point in active trading. The relative strength line also made a new high, bolstering the move.

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