Closing Analysis

Indices Give Back Early Gains to Close Mixed After Fitch Downgrade

Closing Technical Market Analysis for Thu December 15th 2011

The stock market indices closed narrowly mixed, but that didn’t tell the story.

The day started out with large gaps up, followed by a very strong run taking the Nasdaq 100 from last night’s close at 2226 all the way up to 2266. That’s 40 points off the low. The S&P 500 jumped from 1215 up to 1231. They were consolidating nicely in the morning when Fitch downgraded several European countries. That was very negative for the market as it came down hard from a couple minor layers of support holding at 2235 NDX and 1215 S&P 500. They bounced back to resistance, but then backed and filled the rest of the day and were unable to get back to overhead resistance near 1220 S&P 500 and 2245 NDX. The indices did end the day mixed, but with solid technicals.

Net on the day, the Dow was down 7.87 at 11,860.94, or 108 points off the high. The S&P 500 managed to close up 3.51 to 1219.66, 12 points off its high, and the Nasdaq 100 up 11.47 at 2238.18, 29 points off its high.

Advance-declines were better than 3 to 2 positive on the New York Stock Exchange, and 14 to 11 positive on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was also better than 3 to 2 positive on New York, with total volume of 1.12 billion shares traded today. Nasdaq traded 2.3 billion shares and had nearly a 3 to 2 positive volume ratio. That was a strong day for Nasdaq today. board was mixed as well. Leading the way was one of our favorite junior oils, Cobalt International Energy, Inc. (CIE) up 2.00 to 11.00 even, or 22.22%. VocalTec Communications Ltd. (CALL) advanced 3.68 to 23.94, or 18%; VocalTec Communications Ltd. (CALL) 3.68 to 23.94, or 18%; and Sify Technologies Limited (SIFY) 48 cents to 4.28, or 12%, on 1.6 million shares.

Low-priced Agria Corporation American Depo (GRO) was up 29 cents to 1.35, or 27%; Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK) 39 cents to 3.46, or 12%; and Castle (A.M.) & Co. Common Stoc (CAS) 89 cents to 8.90, or 11%.

In addition, GeoEye, Inc. (GEOY) was up 1.53 to 23.60, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) up 2.48 to 33.91, Centene Corp. (CNC) 2.68 to 38.31, Basic Energy Services, Inc. (BAS) 1.27 to 17.66, IMAX Corporation (IMAX) 1.19 to 20.17, Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) 1.74 to 28.20, Sourcefire, Inc. (FIRE) 1.63 to 35.42, Sina Corp. (SINA) 2.25 to 55.05, Westport Innovations Inc. (WPRT) 1.12 to 29.36, and Inc. (STMP) up 1.04 to 25.25.

United Rentals, Inc. (URI) made an acquisition today and was up 1.85 to 27.89, on 17.2 million shares.

Silver stocks were strong with First Majestic Silver Corp. (AG) up 1.04 to 17.09, and Endeavour Silver Corp. (EXK) up 48 cents to 9.98.

Also, Apple Inc. (AAPL) was among the point-plus gainers on our board, up 2.08 to 381.02.

On the downside, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) lost 3.91 to 183.57, Goldman Sachs (GS) 1.80 to 90.10, and Inhibitex Inc. (INHX) 2.54 to 10.45, after having traded under 7.00 earlier.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices were up very sharply early, but rolled over hard in the morning, and reached their session lows around midday. The rest of the day was spent backing and filling, and then trying to breakout, which wasn’t successful. However, they held support, so it was a kind of consolidation day.

Have a good weekend!


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