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RealTime IT News

Consumers Lose Confidence

Stocks fell in volatile trading Tuesday on a weaker than expected reading in consumer confidence.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ rose fractionally to 187, and the Nasdaq slipped 5 to 1935. The S&P 500 lost 7 to 1149, and the Dow fell 110 to 9872. Volume surged to 1.3 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.13 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 17 to 13 on the NYSE, and 19 to 17 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Flextronics rose on a positive conference call.

During the day, Tech Data surged 10% on better than expected earnings.

BEA climbed after reiterating guidance.

Microsoft fell 1.40 to 63.74 after Connecticut said it won't sign on to the company's antitrust settlement with the Justice Department. The stock bounced at its 200 day moving average at 62.75.

EMC gained 6% on positive comments from Merrill Lynch.

Nokia lost 6% after lowering handset sales guidance.

Intel rose .44 to 32.31 after reiterating guidance.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: We include charts in the technical market commentary. If you can't get the charts via the e-mail newsletter version, try this link: http://www.afterhourstrading.com/column.html

Bearish engulfings, dojis and a distribution day today. Not a lot to like, so we'll start with the one positive. The SOX (first chart), the semiconductor index, continues to hold its rising wedge lower trendline, although it's now whipsawed around that line a few times. 520-530 should be the support to watch on that index. But Microsoft (second chart) continues to breakdown, finding support at its 200-day moving average today at 62.75 today. 67.50 is the level to beat for tomorrow. The Nasdaq (third chart) was turned back today at critical resistance: its 200-day moving average (1964.14) and its 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level (1968), and in the process formed a high-volume doji. If it can clear that level, the rally could be headed for 2080-2100. First support is 1900, and then 1840-1860. The Dow (fourth chart) faces resistance at 9993 and critical resistance at 10,093-10,120. Support is 9750-9800 and then 9650. Also on the Dow (fifth chart), an updated Elliott Wave count: the index looks like it could have one wave up left to complete this A-B-C correction off the September 21 low, potentially into the mid-December cycle turn window. Today's candlestick pattern looks pretty ugly, however, almost a bearish evening star, and any number of sentiment and technical indicators could support a top right here. The Bollinger put volume indicator, for one, hit a record low last week, showing strong complacency among options traders. The S&P (sixth chart) was turned back at 1163 today, just under critical resistance in the 1164-1173 range. Support is 1140, and critical support is now just under 1130.

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