(By Harry Boxer) The stock market indices started off on a weak note, and came straight off of an early little top to test the lows. They bounced again, and then backed off one more time, with the S&P 500 making lower lows, but the Nasdaq 100 not following through. That sparked a midafternoon rally, but then they rolled over hard in late afternoon, once again holding support, and bouncing back into the close.
Net of the day, the Dow was down 36.03 at 12,736.44, about 50 points off its low, the S&P 500 was down only 2.22 at 1352.46, only 6 points off its low, and the Nasdaq 100 which did not manage to get into the plus column, was down 1.98 at 2210.31, about 13 points off the low.
Advance-declines were about 340 issues lower on the New York Stock Exchange, much improved in the last hour, and about 14 to 10 negative on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was 2 to 1 negative on New York, with total volume of 600 million shares. Nasdaq traded 1.4 billion, and had about an 8 to 5 negative plurality.
TheTechTrader.com board, as a result, was narrowly mixed. However, there were some outstanding issues today, with Apple Inc. (AAPL) leading the way, up 8.01 to 613.89, just a few cents off the high for the day.
Other large-cap stocks were weak today.
Leading percentage gainers on our board today included Central European Distribution Corp. (CEDC), on news of a big investment from Russian, which jumped 95 cents to 3.70, or 34%, on 6.5 million shares.
Centene Corp. (CNC), with the takeover of AMERIGROUP Corporation (AGP) by WellPoint Inc. (WLP), sent their stock flying, up 5.83 to 34.76, or 20%, on 5 million shares. WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) also shot up, up 9.73 to 62.56, or 18%, on 4.1 million shares. Molina Healthcare Inc. (MOH) also benefited from the merger today, up 4.05 to 27.12, or 18%, on 3.7 million shares. Health Net, Inc. (HNT) was up 1.19 to 26.19 in response to merger news.
Questcor Pharmaceutical (QCOR), which we traded today, jumped 7.41 to 57.64, or nearly 15%, on 6.5 million shares. Low-priced Antares Pharma Inc. (ATRS) gained 51 cents to 4.77, or 12%, on 8.1 million shares. Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (OSIR) advanced 85 cents to 11.35, or 8%, on nearly 900,000 shares. BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) gained 1.55 to 42.32.
Synacor, Inc. (SYNC), a recent swing trade of ours, continues its winning ways, up 1.92 to 17.37, or 12 1/2%, on 1.5 million shares.
Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (OSIR) was up 85 cents to 11.35, Homeowners Choice, Inc. (HCII), up 1.40 to 21.10, Patrick Industries Inc. (PATK) 71 cents to 14.95, Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (KOG) 38 cents to 8.79, US Physical Therapy Inc. (USPH) 1.04 to 26.87, United Rentals, Inc. (URI) 1.22 to 35.26, and Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) 1.10 to 82.99.
ProShares Ultra Long DJ-UBS Natural Gas (BOIL) gained 3.04 to 47.14. Teucrium Corn (CORN) jumped 2.27 to 47.60.
On the downside, point-plus losers included SolarWinds, Inc. (SWI), down 2.11 to 40.50. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) gave back 1.74 to 189.67. Goldman Sachs (GS) lost 1.00 even to 94.47. Sourcefire, Inc. (FIRE) dropped 2.43 to 45.77.
The ProShares UltraShort Silver (ZSL) was down 1.22 to 68.05.
Other than that, there were only fractional gains up and down, so it was a strange day today for the market.
Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices came down hard in the morning, held support, bounced three times, held support again, and then rally toward the end of the day, but closed negative on the session to start the week. However, the overall key support near 2598 – 2600 zone held on the NDX, and 1347-8 on the S&P 500 also held.
Those will be key areas to watch for tomorrow.