Stocks could buck September trend and hit new highs 

The S&P financial sector was down 0.4 percent for the week and was the only negative major sector, even as the S&P edged within 12 points of its all-time high.

“The question is can we get above and stay above the high of the year, which was 2,916. If we survive September and get through October, that could clear the road for 3,000,” on the S&P 500, said Scott Redler, partner with T3live.com.

“A close above 2,916 would open the door for more upside. It could happen next week. Next week historically is not a good week in the market. If we get past that, the probabilities increase for a fourth-quarter rally. That could start sooner than many people think,” said Redler.

The coming week does not have much on the agenda, so traders will be watching for developments on trade with both China and Canada.

There are some economic reports, including existing home sales Thursday and the Philadelphia Fed survey, but not much in the way of major news on the economy. Fed speakers are also quiet ahead of their Sept. 25 and 26 meeting, where they are expected to raise interest rates.

There is also a late-quarter lull in earnings reports, with just a handful of reports, including FedEx and Oracle Monday, General Mills Tuesday and Micron Thursday.

Todd Sohn, technical strategist at Strategas Research, said he expects the trend in stocks to continue to be higher for now. He’s watching another diverging cross current — the recent selling in semiconductor names, while Dow Jones Transports rallies. The transport index closed at an all-time high Friday.

“The transports and industrials in general have picked up the slack. What’s interesting is when you go back 20 to 25 years, the transports have a higher correlation to the S&P than the semiconductors,” Sohn said. “In a way, the transports acting better is more significant for the market than the semis.”

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