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Mid-Day Advancers as Markets Struggle to Overcome Fear

Markets managed to advance slightly before noon, only to slip. Nasdaq (QQQ) relative volume is 1.0, compared to light trading on S&P 500 and the more important Russell 2000 (IWM).

Markets require a broad advance, especially in small-cap companies. With too much reliance on Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT), most investors will not increase their allocation in stocks.

Interest rate levels are on close watch today. In September, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index gained 0.7% sequentially. Rising home values, up by 3.9% in the year, are a cause for concern. The Fed is in no position to cut rates when shelter costs are rising.

Bank stocks are trending lower as a result. Citi (C) peaked at around $45, its simple moving average (the 50 day SMA). Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) sold off by 4.08% after booking higher losses in its third quarter. Wells Fargo (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) managed to advance in mid-day trade, albeit by 10-20 basis points.

Looking ahead, Dollar Tree (DLTR) will post results after the market closes. DLTR stock, unchanged, should post EPS falling by 15.8% Y/Y. Shares are sharply below the over $150 peak in 2023, trading at $116.37.

Cybersecurity form Okta (OKTA) advanced by 3.67% ahead of its report, too. Analysts expect Okta to report revenue growth of 16.5% Y/Y.

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