Stocks Up In Quiet Trade

Stocks rose in quiet trade Monday, ahead of a busy week that will include the first read on fourth-quarter GDP, a Federal Reserve meeting and President Bush’s State of the Union speech.

The ISDEX rose 1 to 181, and the Nasdaq gained 6 to 1943. The S&P 500 slipped fractionally to 1133, and the Dow gained 25 to 9865. Volume declined to 1.2 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.5 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by 16 to 14 on the NYSE, and 18 to 17 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Texas Instruments , Expedia , UTStarcom and Ticketmaster topped estimates. Texas Instruments slashed CapEx estimates, which could hurt equipment makers, but the company said the third quarter marked the bottom for the chip cycle. Sun received a Neutral rating from Merrill Lynch, a negative.

During the day, Hotel Reservations Network soared 18% on blow-out results.

Gateway and Dell slipped after Gateway cut prices aggressively.

Cisco rose 3% on an alliance with IBM .

Global Crossing was halted on pending news of the company’s acquisition out of bankruptcy.

NVIDIA rose 4% on bullish comments from Merrill Lynch. slipped despite better than expected results.

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

The Dow (first chart) seems to be forming a bear flag at the low end of a 600-point decline; that gives the index potential for another 600-900 point decline, and that appears likely to happen, given the weakness in the index. To the downside, it looks like that lower bear flag trendline will be at about 9850 for tomorrow; a break of that level could be a sign that the next wave down has begun. 9800 is next support below that, then 9750, and 9600-9680 is critical support. First resistance is 9900, then 9930 and 10,000. The S&P 500 (second chart) has formed two straight dojis (indecision candlesticks) between 1125-1132 support and 1140 resistance, two very important levels to watch. The Nasdaq (third chart) has support at 1930-1937, and 1916-1920. Resistance is 1965, 1980 and 2000. The S&P and the Nasdaq look like they could use another pop higher to complete their corrections against the downtrend; the Dow, on the other hand, looks like it could turn down at any time. A lot of news the next two days: fourth-quarter GDP, Bush’s State of the Union speech, and a Fed meeting.

Special report: For a free introduction to technical chart patterns, visit,1785,2571_500051,00.html.

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