Stocks Fall Ahead Of Fed Meeting

Stocks fell across the board on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.

The ISDEX slipped 2 to 187, and the Nasdaq lost 29 to 1992. The S&P 500 fell 18 to 1139, and the Dow dropped 128 to 9921. Volume declined to 1.1 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.67 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 21 to 9 on the NYSE, and 23 to 13 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, JDS Uniphase slipped on its revenue outlook, Xilinx rose after raising guidance, Engage soared on a better than expected loss, and Ulticom slipped on lighter than expected revenues.

During the day, Oracle slipped after CIBC WorldMarkets said earnings and revenues may come in light when the company reports on Thursday. Ciena and Adobe also report on Thursday. Comverse reports tomorrow.

Hewlett-Packard rose slightly and Compaq fell after HP founders continued to line up against the companies’ proposed merger.

Facial recognition technology firm Visionics soared on an alliance with Raytheon .

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 market is once again flirting with a breakdown here. The S&P 500 (first chart) now has no semblance of an uptrend left from the September lows. Next support is likely 1125-1132, and then 1118. First resistance is 1142-1143, and 1150 should be strong resistance for tomorrow. The Dow (second chart) broke its main September uptrend line for the first time on a closing basis today; below 9880-9890, the top on the Dow is likely in. The 10,000 level may provide strong resistance tomorrow, since that broken trendline should be just above that level for tomorrow. The Nasdaq (third chart) is just above critical 1980 support; a gap below that level tomorrow would take out the index’s uptrend and create an island reversal at the same time; a bearish scenario that may or may not occur. 2000-2010 should be first resistance. The Nasdaq also looks like an imperfect bearish evening star; the same pattern is appearing in some other stocks, like Cisco. The Nasdaq 100 (fourth chart) is also right above critical support, which should be at 1639 tomorrow; 1660 is first resistance. Today was the start of a major turn window that lasts through Friday. Today was the 55-day turn off the September 21 low, a significant date in its own right. One bearish sign is that the put-call ratio fell today along with stocks, a sign of complacency.

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