RealTime IT News

Bulls Take A Break

Stocks rested on Thursday, as the Dow and S&P 500 hesitated at their 200-day moving averages for a second straight day.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ rose 2 to 195, and the Nasdaq gained 7 to 2054. The S&P 500 slipped 3 to 1167, and the Dow gave back 15 to 10,099. Volume declined to 1.46 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.18 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a few issues on the NYSE, and by 20 to 15 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Intel raised its fourth quarter revenue guidance to $6.7-$6.9 million, at the high end of estimates, as expected. The stock trader higher on the news. Sun was unchanged after providing little in the way of guidance. Advanced Micro surged after raising estimates.

Unemployment numbers for November and Michigan consumer sentiment will come out tomorrow morning. The Federal Reserve will meet again next week to set interest rate policy; expectations appear to be for a 25-basis point rate cut.

During the day, National Semi surged 6% on better than expected earnings.

Homestore.com plunged 20% after Chief Financial Officer Joseph Shew resigned for personal reasons.

eBay climbed after Merrill Lynch said a drop-off in European listings likely wont affect the company's quarter.

BEA Systems slipped on a Legg Mason downgrade over valuation and competition concerns.

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

The Nasdaq (first chart) continues to bump up against its upper trendline. That resistance should be at 2070-2080 for tomorrow. 2037 is first support, then 2025 and then 1980. 1960 is critical support. The Dow (second chart) was stopped at its 200-day moving average (10,139) and its July-August closing lows (10,174-10,175). 10,261, the 40-month moving average, sits above that. Support is 10,080, 10,050 and 10,000. Critical support is 9900. The S&P (third chart) has resistance at 1173-1175 and 1180-1185. 1162-1164 and 1155-1158 is support. Next week (December 10-14) is a very important turn window that Chris Carolan (The Spiral Calendar) has as the final bull market high. Given the sentiment readings and overbought condition in the market, it may well turn out to be a top of some significance. The very important Investors Intelligence survey showed bears falling to 23.7% this week, just above the 5-year low set over the summer. Bulls are tracking at twice that number.

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