The Russell 2000 index of small capitalization stocks fell 0.9% in afternoon trade Thursday, to peek below the widely-watched 200-day moving average (MA) line for the first time in nearly 14 months. The 200-day MA is viewed by many chart watchers as as dividing line between longer-term uptrends and downtrends. The Russell 2000 was last below that line intraday on June 29, 2016, but last closed below the line on June 28. The 286-session stretch that the index has closed above the line would be the longest since the 363-session stretch ending May 5, 2014. The Russell 2000 is seen by many as a leading indicator for the larger cap indexes, as small cap stocks tend to be less liquid than large caps so they tend to underperform during market declines and outperform during market rallies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently 1,286 points, or 6.3% above its 200-day MA, while the S&P 500 is 4.2% above it and the Nasdaq Composite is 6.8% above it.
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