The stock market indices ended lower today to end the month and the quarter, but were volatile during the session. They started out with a bit of a gap down, dropping quite sharply in the first 15-20 minutes, testing the lows of the last couple sessions on the Nasdaq 100 at 1955 support.
That held and the S&P 500 did take out support at 1169.70, reaching 1166, but when the NDX did not confirm they bounced back in a 5-wave move, reaching new session highs and testing yesterday’s late rally highs at around the 1970 area on the NDX and the 1174.5 zone on the SPX. When they failed to break through in late afternoon trading, they rolled over sharply and come down to new session lows on the NDX but made higher lows on the S&P 500. In the last 10 minutes they snapped back a little bit to bring them off the lows, still ending negative on the session.
Net on the day, the Dow closed down 50.79 at 10,856.63, the S&P 500 down 3.84 at 1169.43, and the Nasdaq 100 down 9.62 at 1958.34. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) was also down 2.33 at 366.57.
Advance-declines were 3 to 2 negative on the New York Stock Exchange and about the same ratio on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was about 2 to 1 negative on New York on total volume of 1.15 billion. Nasdaq traded a little over 2 1/3 billion and had about a 12 to 11 negative ratio.
TheTechTrader.com board was down mostly by small fractions as a result of the narrowly negative close of the indices. Point-plus movers included Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE), up 1.52 to 22.78, and Omeros Corporation (OMER), up 1.02 to 7.05, a nearly 17% gain. But the star of the day was Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), which finished at 3.35, up 1.04, a 45% gain today.
Other gainers of note: RINO International (RINO) jumped to 23.73 up 72 cents. It was trading lower in the aftermarket after earnings were released. TiVo Inc. (TIVO) advanced 35 cents to 17.13, Mindspeed Technologies (MSPD) 20 cents to 8.01, and Acme Packet, Inc. (APKT) 28 cents to 19.28. Universal Travel Group (UTA) gained 39 cents to 9.91.
The only point-plus loser on the board today way China Agritech (CAGC), which dropped 1.97 to 24.86.
Other fractional losers included Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) down 46 cents to 22.49, China Automotive (CAAS) down 34 cents to 23.10, and China Valves Technology, Inc. (CVVT) down 44 cents to 13.01, ENCO gave back 64 cents and closed at 2.64. That was yesterday’s big gainer.
JAZZ Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) fell 54 cents to 10.90 and Sketchers (SKX) 51 cents to 36.32.
Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices were down early, rallied back through mid-session and rolled over late in the session to end up negative on the session at the end of the month. With Friday being Good Friday, tomorrow is basically the end of the week, so we’ll see if the market can hold support which it’s been pressuring for a couple of days now.