Bulls on Thursday scored a small victory as the Nasdaq 100 rallied from the session lows. The benchmark closed at 14,722 and declined 0.3%, states Jon Markman, editor of Strategic Advantage.

The weakness leaves the NDX almost unchanged for the week. This is important ahead of Friday's September non-farm payroll report. Bears have built their entire narrative around the Federal Reserve leaving interest rates higher interest rates for longer to fight lingering inflation.

For the past month, a steady stream of stronger-than-expected inflation reports kept this notion afloat. However, a weaker-than-expected jobs report will sink inflation worries. It's the kind of game-changer that could spark a year-end rally.


I've written at length this week that there are some green shoots, signs that buyers are ready to return in large numbers. Defensive issues are leading to the current decline. Consumer staples issues have been tumbling lower for the better part of a month. These issues are normally a lifeboat for investors fearful of drowning in the morass of macroeconomic contraction.

And leadership stocks such as Tesla (TSLA) moved higher last week despite negative fundamental reports. When buyers react unexpectedly given bearish news it's usually a sign that they're ready to move back into the market.

Still, bulls will need the Nasdaq 100 to move above the 50-day moving average at 15,120. Be patient; the beginning of that move could occur as soon as Friday or Monday. There is important support at 14,505, then 13,656, the gap from the May breakout.

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