Bears go to work at key level

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Stocks are trying to keep a positive week this afternoon, although bears are attacking indexes at a key level.

The S&P 500 popped above its 50-day moving average on Tuesday and held that level for three sessions. Sellers hammered it back below the 50-day out of the gate this morning, spurred by weakness in major technology stocks and higher interest rates.

There have been plenty of earnings and other headlines to digest. Apple (AAPL) faced a mounting buzz of negativity over slowing demand for its smart phones. That followed similar-sounding news from chip stocks Lam Research (LRCX) and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM).

Outside of tech, economically sensitive areas like Industrials and Transports have outperformed this week. They’ve had several strong quarterly reports — including General Electric (GE) today. Comments from other firms like Textron (TXT) and Honeywell (HON) seemed to reinforce the idea that capital spending is on the rise. That’s also usually viewed as a positive for small-cap companies in the Russell 2000, which has also pushed higher this week.

One other interesting development today is buyers sticking with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (@XBT) following a short-squeeze on April 12. If the gains hold through this afternoon, it would represent the first consecutive winning weeks for Bitcoin this year.

S&P 500 chart with moving averages
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David Russell is VP of Content Strategy at TradeStation. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.