Consumer Confidence, Stocks Both Drop

A much bigger than expected drop in consumer confidence sent stocks lower on Tuesday, and traders braced for a negative GDP reading on Wednesday.

The ISDEX fell 5 to 141, and the Nasdaq lost 32 to 1667. The S&P 500 fell 18 to 1059, and the Dow declined 147 to 9121. Volume rose to 1.3 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.77 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by 21 to 9 on the NYSE, and 23 to 12 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Adobe plunged on an earnings warning.

During the day, Cisco climbed .15 to 16.57 on comments from Morgan Stenley that the company is gaining market share in Europe.

Juniper fell 1.01 to 22.99 on a Merrill Lynch Neutral rating based on valuation.

Homestore fell .84 to 5.05 after Goldman Sachs dropped the company from its Recommended List.

Openwave , off 1.18 to 7.81, CSG down 7.44 to 31.76, and Macrovision , off 9.75 to 23.72, all fell on earnings warnings.

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:

The indexes appear to be forming big trading ranges over the last few weeks, and the best bet in our opinion is one more leg up before a substantial correction. The Dow (first chart) is forming the clearest pattern, and it appears to be a broadening top, with three clear upper trendline touches. First support is 9065, and critical support is 9000. 9180 is first resistance and then 9300-9320. Above 9360 or so targets the upper trendline at about 9650, and below 9000 targets 8450. The S&P (second chart) seems to be forming a rectangle of sorts, bounded by 1052 to the downside and 1110 to the upside. First resistance is 1068 and then 1078-1083. Note that ADX, a trend strength indicator, is threatening to turn up on the S&P; if that continues in conjunction with a move down, it would be bearish. Also, buying pressure has turned down and selling pressure has crossed up on all three indexes, a sign that the selling could continue. The Nasdaq (third chart) has support at 1646 and that pesky gap at 1626.26, which also marks an uptrend line. Resistance is 1675, 1682-1686, and then 1700.

Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns and an overview of last year’s action in the stock market, visit,1785,2571_500051,00.html.

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