Green across the Board! Last-Hour Trading Puts Markets in Positive Terrain

A surge of buying in the session's final minutes juiced the markets Friday and could set a test for next week's trading.

3 min read

(Friday Market Close) The markets did it! They opened the session today on solid ground and actually stayed there. What’s more, they even managed to close at session highs, sending all three major benchmarks into positive terrain—something that looked pretty iffy early on.

The Dow Jones Industrials ($DJI) finished higher by almost 1.4% while the S&P 500 (SPX) did better, up 1.6%. But it was the Nasdaq Composite (COMP)—the biggest laggard throughout most of this week—that appeared to steal the show, settling even higher, up nearly 1.8%. Looking even more unusual for this week, the markets saw a burst of buying activity in the last hour of trading to further juice the close.

The SPX might be worth taking a closer look at today. Throughout much of the week, the SPX was holding at the 2,700 level, unable to finish above it. Not today. At its 2,740 closing level, it might be setting itself for a test next week to break that 2750 resistance level.  

As noted here many times this month, volatility was at play. Wall Street’s worry metric, the Volatility Index (VIX), tumbled nearly 12% today, settling at 16.49 as it broke through support levels. Could this be another test next week? Could it go down to the 15.5?

It’s unclear what motivated the market merriment, but some analysts suggested that the Federal Reserve’s dovish tone might have had some impact. In its semiannual monetary policy report, the Fed pointed to an upswing in inflation toward the end of the year, but didn’t suggest that it would prompt a more aggressive monetary policy, meaning that it’s still, at least for now, on track for three rate hikes this year. It stuck to its belief that inflation would hit or come close to its 2% goal.

That might also have had some impact on the 10-year notes, which rose today, pulling yields down. The 10-year yield fell to 2.87%. Remember that prices and yields run in opposite directions.

Oil prices also held on to gains, scoring their second straight week of gains as they continued to scrape back from the month’s earlier sell off. West Texas Intermediate crude oil (/CL), the U.S. benchmark, climbed 1.2% to $63.53 a barrel, crawling back toward that $66.66 52-week high. For the week, it rose 3.3%. 



It’s all right here: The last three weeks of volatility, as shown in the VIX bar chart, best reflects what traders have been dealing with in recent weeks. Remember that brief spike on Feb. 6? The VIX is calmer now, still up from the tight ranges it was in earlier this year and most of last year, but some 67% lower than that peak. Might it test new levels next week? Data sources: CME Group, Standard & Poor’s. Chart source: The thinkorswim® platform from TD AmeritradeFor illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Good Trading,

Helpful Educational Content and Programming

·         Check out all of our upcoming Webcasts or watch one of the many archived ones, covering a wide range of topics from market commentary to portfolio planning basics to trading strategies for active investors. No matter your experience level, there’s something for everybody.

·         Looking to stay on top of the markets? Check out the TD Ameritrade Network, which is live programming that brings you market news and helps you hone your trading knowledge.

·         Plus, there's a new playlist on the TD Ameritrade YouTube Channel: Introduction to Volatility,  featuring recent content from the TD Ameritrade Network.

The TD Ameritrade Network is brought to you by TD Ameritrade Media Productions Company. TD Ameritrade Media Productions Company and TD Ameritrade, Inc. are separate but affiliated subsidiaries of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation.

Call Us

TD Ameritrade and all third parties mentioned are separate and unaffiliated companies, and are not responsible for each other’s policies, services or commentary.

Inclusion of specific security names in this commentary does not constitute a recommendation from TD Ameritrade to buy, sell, or hold.


Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Past performance of a security or strategy does not guarantee future results or success.

Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options.

Supporting documentation for any claims, comparisons, statistics, or other technical data will be supplied upon request.

The information is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy, and is for illustrative purposes only. Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade. Clients must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situations, before trading.

This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business or where such offer or solicitation would be contrary to the local laws and regulations of that jurisdiction, including, but not limited to persons residing in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UK, and the countries of the European Union.

TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2018 TD Ameritrade.

Scroll to Top