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Indices Edge Higher

 December 29, 2009 09:42 AM

The indices managed to edge into the plus column today despite some gyrations during the session.

The day started out with a gap up and strong early surge that took the Nasdaq 100 to more new 2009 highs at 1882.58. The S&P 500 surged across 1130 to reach 1130.38 at its high. They then backed off and went sideways for several hours in narrow coiling action, before an early afternoons sell-off spiked the indices lower to test secondary support around the 1868-70 zone on the NDX and 1123-24 on the SXP. However, in the last hour, they came back sharply, particularly in the last 10 minutes.

Net on the day the Dow was up 26.98 at 10,547.08, the S&P 500 up 1.30 at 1127.78, and the Nasdaq 100 up 8.34 at 1878.18. However, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) was down 3.42 at 357.64, putting pressure on Nasdaq.

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Advance-declines were very narrowly mixed, with just 73 stocks higher on New York versus 260 stocks lower on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was slightly positive on New York on total volume of a paltry 688 million, which may have been the lowest volume this year. Nasdaq traded a little over 1.2 billion and had a slightly negative volume ratio.

TheTechTrader.com board was narrowly mixed. Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE) was up 1.87 to 14.97, one of the big winners today. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals (HITK) gained 1.49 to 28.55, Telestone Technologies (TSTC) 1.55 to 21.27, a new all-time high, and Compugen (CGEN), which gapped up at the opening on news, rose 1.12 to 5.20, reaching as high as 5.86 earlier in the session on a heavy 21.7 million shares.

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Other gainers of note, Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) added 38 cents to 31.15, Nanometrics (NANO) 43 cents at 11.73,Vical (VICL) 61 cents to 3.36, and China Automotive (CAAS) 53 cents to 20.38, along with U.S. Oil Fund ETF (USO) up 66 cents to 38.86 on a rise in oil.

On the downside, there were no point-plus losers on our board, although there was some mixed action and profit-taking in some of the Chinese stocks. A-Power Energy (APWR) dropped 53 cents at 19.05, AsiaInfo (ASIA) 52 cents to 30.53, China Agritech (CAGC) 33 cents to 28.36, China Green Agriculture (CGA) 27 cents to 15.68, SmartHeat (HEAT) 46 cents to 14.36, Kandi (KNDI) 23 cents to 4.16, RINO International (RINO) 76 cents to 28.31, and Origin Agritech (SEED) 24 cents to 9.97.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, they were up early, quiet in the morning, and then dropped sharply in early afternoon, before coming back in the last couple hours to close at the afternoon highs going away. They were slightly up on the day but nothing spectacular although the indices gave a good account of themselves, holding near their rising moving averages on the hourly charts, and then moving back toward secondary intraday resistance.

So I'd say a positive start to the week, but mixed technicals leave the breadth of the day in question.

Good trading!




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