(By Harry Boxer) The stock market indices had a very difficult, ugly opening, and a sharp down session until the last hour to hour and a half, when they came back with a roar.
The day started out with futures lower. They spiked down, bounced, formed bear wedges, and dropped even sharper to the morning lows, having dropped from 2565 to 2520, 45 points, on the Nasdaq 100 in just the first hour. The S&P 500 dropped from 1332 down to 1314 and change. Then they bounced back in the morning to test resistance. When that failed, they rolled over and made new lows for the day, forming falling wedges, which indicated it could be a start of a snapback rally. That's exactly what we got. The NDX exploded from 2510 to 2540, and the S&P 500 went from 1313 to 1330. They closed not far off from those levels, and came way off the lows to close slightly lower on the day. Nevertheless, the technicals would mean the indicators came back sharply on the New York Stock Exchange to close positive, but it was still quite negative on Nasdaq 100.
[Related -Why Apple's (AAPL) Outlook Is Improving Heading Into 2014]
Net of the day, the Dow was down 24.90 at 12,602.11, 150 points off its low, the S&P 500 was down 2.84 at 1329.01, 16 points off its low, and the Nasdaq 100 down 28.88 at 2536.65 to, 28 points off its low.
Advance-declines were 16 to 13 positive on New York, and 3 to 2 negative on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was slightly positive on New York, with total volume of 850 million shares. Nasdaq traded 1 2/3 billion, and had 3 to 1 negative volume over declining volume.
TheTechTrader.com board was mostly lower, however, and quite a few stocks were up on my Market Minder. Leading the way by percentages was Synergetics USA, Inc. (SURG), up 88 cents to 4.75, or 23%, on 2.2 million shares on earnings. Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (OREX) added another 98 cents to 5.90, or 20%, on 23.3 million shares based on yesterday's drug news. HMS Holdings Corp. (HMSY) was up 3.96 to 31.75, or 14%, on 6.1 million shares. Worthington Industries, Inc. (WOR) ran up 1.56 to 19.19, or 9%, on 2 million shares on blowout earnings.
[Related -Fusion-IO, Inc. (NYSE:FIO): Stiff Competition May Hurt Margins; M&A Remains Key Catalyst]
HCA Holdings, Inc. (HCA) gained 2.86 to 29.49, or 11%, on 20 million shares, and Community Health Systems, Inc. (CYH) was up 2.05 to 27.54, or 8% on 8.5 million shares. Both are healthcare stocks on the Supreme Court ruling.
Horizon Pharma, Inc. (HZNP) gained 49 cents to 6.85, Basic Energy Services, Inc. (BAS), of the oil related stocks, was up 77 cents to 9.93, Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG) snapped back 95 cents to 13.76, Unisys Corporation (UIS) rose 99 cents to 18.18, Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LGND) advanced 71 cents to 16.33, Synacor, Inc. (SYNC) added 67 cents to 13.50, Ellie Mae, Inc. (ELLI) was up 72 cents to 17.75, and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE) was up 65 cents to 15.00 even.
Swift Energy Co. (SFY) advanced 1.22 to 17.53, Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (MFRM) gained 1.98 to 29.08, Digital River Inc. (DRIV) up 1.02 to 16.23, Lindsay Corporation (LNN) rose 3.98 to 65.87, Zillow, Inc. (Z) gained 1.14 to 35.90, and Bill Barrett Corp. (BBG) in a strong junior oil group, advanced 1.12 to 20.79. These were among some of the better fractional gainers.
ProShares UltraShort Silver (ZSL) was up 2.64 to 73.37
On the downside, despite the rally back, Apple Inc. (AAPL) was still down 5.45 to 569.05. Google Inc. (GOOG) was down 5.00 to 564.30. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) lost 4.31 to 221.31. Sourcefire, Inc. (FIRE) was down 4.46 to 48.74. Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ONXX) lost 2.42 to 63.97. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) got crushed today for 9.93 to 51.18.
Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices came down sharply, and then into late afternoon were at the lows for the day at the apex of falling wedges. They snapped back in the last hour to hour and 20 minutes, and took back a big chunk of the losses to close down, but only fairly nominally so, except on Nasdaq 100.
Let's see what this technical snapback off support means, whether it means anything or not.