Technical Analysis: Stocks Pause Before the Big Jobs Report
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The Dow and S&P (first two charts below) put in dojis, or small unchanged candlesticks, reflecting indecision ahead of Friday's February jobs report. Expectations are for a gain of about 225,000 jobs, but the market would probably be happiest if jobs growth continued at the 150,000 a month pace forever — strong enough to keep the recovery going, but not so strong as to overheat. We'll give the Dow points for repeatedly bumping up against 10,868 resistance without turning back in a wholesale decline; that raises the odds that the blue chips will be able to break through that level eventually. The first big support level on the Dow is 10,750-10,760, and 10,675-10,700 is critical. The S&P faces major resistance at 1218. Support is 1204, 1200 and 1195. The Nasdaq (third chart) remains the weakest index here, and it's going to be tough for the market to mount a major rally without the techs. 2080 is resistance, and 2047-2050 and 2040 are support.