A classic battle of buyers versus sellers is going on in the market here. On one hand are the strong new money inflows that typically occur in the first few weeks of January. And on the other hand are motivated sellers at very obvious resistance levels. The inflows and the market’s ability to bounce back are both positives, but almost everything else tends toward the negative. Thus, even if the market can clear these levels, risk remains high. Sentiment has once again turned negative, with the equity-only put-call ratio spending much of the day below .50 before closing at a more constructive .57. The options volatility indicators, the VIX and the VXN (VXN pictured in the first chart below), are hitting new lows here, suggesting complacency. The big decline in new highs today was a negative, a sign that the intraday breakout was being sold. And the overwhelming number of calls at 27 on the QQQ, the Nasdaq 100 tracking stock, could provide even more resistance for tech stocks next week. The Dow and S&P (second and third charts below) put in dojis, or indecision candlesticks, at the 8800 and 932 resistance levels. A down day on Monday could signal a top here. If the indexes can close above those levels, 8935-9000 and 950 could come into play. The Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 (fourth and fifth charts) continue to press 1449 and 1088 resistance. A close above those levels could target 1500-1520. And the banks and chip stocks (sixth and seventh charts) continue their assault on resistance too. In short, the market’s perseverance is encouraging, but the decline in volume and new highs today and the quick return of complacency at current levels all continue to suggest caution. Key supports are 8600 on the Dow, 905 on the S&P, and 1400 on the Nasdaq.
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