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Stock Market Consolidation Day Ends Lower in Late Sell-Off

Stock-Markets / US Stock Markets Dec 18, 2008 - 08:15 AM GMT

By: Harry_Boxer


The markets had a consolidation day, but ended on the downside. They were lower in the morning, rallied mid-day, and then backed and filled into the close, but in the last 10 minutes took a quick hit to close near the afternoon lows.

Net on the day the Dow was down just under 100, down 99.80 at 8824 and change. The S&P 500 down 8 3/4 at 904.42, and the Nasdaq 100 was down 17.63 1225.86. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) gave back just a fraction, 0.35 to 221.16.

Advance-declines were 3 to 2 positive on New York and only positive by 120 issues on Nasdaq. That's pretty good for a down day, so the technicals held up well today. Up/down volume had a slight edge to the downside on New York on total volume of just over 1.3 billion. Nasdaq traded more than 2.1 billion and had about a 12 to 9 1/2 negative volume ratio. board was mixed, but mostly higher, with many point-plus gaines. Leading the way was portfolio position SunPower (SPWRA) at 36.82, up 4.57 to a new multi-week high.

Agriculture stocks were strong, with POT at 80.10, up 3.19, although that was nearly 3 points off its earlier high on nearly 14 million shares. MOS in that group was up 1.21, and CF at 55.50 up 1.73.

Other stocks of note, DRYS had another strong session, closing at 12.43, up 1.30 on 33 million shares. Portfolio position EBS at 24.05 was up 1.34, snapping back nicely, and portfolio position UEPS went to a new multi-week high as well, breaking out to close at 12.81, up 93 cents. CSIQ had a strong day in the solar sector, up 79 cents to 6.35. ENER also had a terrific session, up nearly 3 today to 25.89. Former Chart of the Week COGT was up 67 cents to 14.37. ACH, continuing its run of late, tagged 16 today, before closing at 15.76, up another 74 cents today. That's up more than 100% off its October low.

On the ETF list, the QID was up 1.47, the BGZ up 1.42, as the indices worked their way lower today.

On the downside, leading the way was a downgrade and negative news from AAPL, down 6.27 to 89.16. The EWZ dropped 1.88, the DIG 93 cents and the BGU 97 cents. USO dropped 1.63 as oil hit a new multi-year low today, tagging a tad below 40 at one point. QCOR continued its recent weakness, breaking under 7 for the first time in 2 months, down 68 cents to 6.98.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices moved down in the morning, up mid-day, and then back down and consolidated in the afternoon before a late downward hit brought them off the afternoon rally highs. The NDX closed at its 2-day rising trendline, the S&P 500 closing right at intraday support around 904. It'll be very interesting to see which way they follow through tomorrow. Overhead resistance, probed today near the 919 area on the S&P 500, failed to be taken out, and at that point the NDX had formed a negative divergence anyway intraday. So we were not surprised to see the late sell-off.

Overall still constructive behavior, and we'll see if they can avoid any steeper downside hits and eventually work their way back up through key resistance. Again, we'll be watching the 1250 area on the NDX and the 920 level on the S&P 500 as the levels we want to push through to continue the rally.

Good trading!


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