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RealTime IT News

Consumer Confidence Boosts Stocks

The biggest jump in consumer confidence in 25 years boosted stocks on Tuesday, but gains were held in check by a weak durable orders report that had investors wondering how strong the recovery will be.

The ISDEX http://www.wsrn.com/apps/ISDEX/ slipped 1 to 158, and the Nasdaq gained 11 to 1824. The S&P 500 added 6 to 1138, and the Dow climbed 71 to 10,353. Volume rose to 1.2 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.65 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19 to 12 on the NYSE, and 19 to 15 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Manugistics surged on better than expected results.

During the day, Hotel Reservations Network plunged after Travelocity announced the acquisition of site59.com.

FreeMarkets fell on earnings worries.

VeriSign declined after being accused of "slamming" domain registrants.

EDS fell on a downgrade.

University of Phoenix Online surged on better than expected results.

WebMD fell on news of a convertible offering.

Brocade rose after the company said it will meet or beat estimates.

Liberate barely gained despite topping estimates and raising guidance.

Internet Security fell on negative analyst comments.

Network Associates and McAfee fell on news of an SEC investigation into accounting practices. The companies postponed plans to recombine.

Microsoft traded down a few cents on news that it will restate some past cash flow statements.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: To see the charts in the text email newsletter, click on the internetstockreport.com story link at the top of the newsletter.

The Nasdaq (first chart) remains in the middle of a down channel, with support at 1780-1790 (1793-1805) and resistance at 1850. The Dow (second chart) held 10,275 support and took out 10,300 and 10,345 resistance. Next resistance is 10,425-10,475, and next support below 10,275 is 10,150-10,200. The S&P (third chart) has support at 1135, 1130 and 1125, and closed right under 1138-1142 resistance. 1155 looks like critical resistance in the weekly chart. Once more, the next couple of days should be interesting, with quarterly rebalancing and Japanese banks marking-to-market this week. Both could put selling pressure on U.S. stocks - but at the same time, it is also a strong season for inflows, particularly beginning next week, and mutual funds will no doubt be buying select names for window dressing in the next couple of days. A lot of cross-currents the next two days and early next week.

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Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns, visit http://www.internetstockreport.com/guest/article/0,1785,2571_500051,00.html.