The Russell 2000 index just did something it has only done six times in the past 34 years

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The Russell 2000 index on Thursday outperformed its peer equity gauges by the greatest margin since late April, marking only the sixth time that has occurred since 1986, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The small-capitalization focused Russell 2000 finished the session up 1.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down labout 0.1%, the S&P 500 index declined 0.2% and the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index finished the trading day 0.5% lower. The Nasdaq-100 index , comprised of the 100 largest components of the Nasdaq Composite, closed off 0.7%, reflecting some selling in large-capitalization, tech-related companies which have helped to lead the broader market higher. There was no clear catalyst for the unwind in tech bets and small-cap buying, particularly as the session was marked by fears about the spread of COVID-19 emanating out of Europe. France and the U.K. have either implemented or discussed re-imposing lockdown measures to contain an apparent resurgence of the epidemic that has crippled much of the global economy. A lack of progress on further coronavirus relief by Congress for American corporations and businesses also was expected to impede the buying mood on Wall Street Thursday, specifically among small-cap names which theoretically would be more vulnerable to economic weakness. The last time the Russell 2000 outperformed its peers by greater than 1% was April 28, when markets were wrestling with the market’s rebound from lows hit on March 23. The other periods of outperformance for the Russell 2000 were July 30, 2019, October of 2014, June of 2006 and June of 2002.
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