9:10am (EST)

The bulls struggled to the finish line on Thursday but led the bears for much of the race as all three major indexes finished in the green.  We also got our second confirmation that the current rally could have more legs. 

The Dow gained 4 points to close at 11,989 but made its second straight trip above 12,000, hitting 12,019 intra-day.  We mentioned yesterday the index has a shot at 12,300-12,350 over the near-term and we would like to see a close above 12K today.

The S&P 500 finally kissed 1,300, twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon before finishing just below resistance at 1,299.54 – up 3 points.  We are looking for a pop to 1,325 and maybe 1,350 on a breakout. 

The Nasdaq was the strong horse as it added 15 points, or 0.6%, to settle at 2,755.  The index is still 9% away from our 3,000 target and we have said it may be hard to reach this level over the near-term.  We may only get to 2,850. 

We probably would have been at Nasdaq 3,000 if some of the high-beta stocks would have held up but the ones missing earnings have been clipped for 10%-20% haircuts after announcing.  We will talk more about the market in our afternoon update.

Turning to earnings, Amazon.com (AMZN, $184.45, up $9.06) was up 5% yesterday but fell nearly 10% in after-hours trading last night.  The company said it earned $416 million, or $0.91 a share, on revenue of $12.95 billion but Wall Street was looking for a profit of $0.88 a share on revenue of $13 billion.

Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT, $28.87, up $0.09) had an incredible quarter as they beat expectations but concerns over their Windows revenues caused shares to slip last night in extended trading.  The company reported a profit of $6.63 billion, or $0.77 a share, on sales of $19.95 billion.  Wall Street was looking for numbers of $0.68 a share on revenue of $19.15 billion.

Microsoft could get this quarter’s Rodney Dangerfield award…

Futures are pointing towards a slightly higher open this morning:  Dow (+5), S&P 500 (+2), Nasdaq 100 (+6).  Our current trades made some nice gains on Thursday and we may lock in some profits ahead of the weekend.  Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates.  We may be a little early with our update today and look for trade alerts this morning if we decide to close a trade or take half positions.