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Stock Markets Still Waiting for Santa Claus Rally

Stock-Markets / Global Stock Markets Dec 24, 2008 - 02:46 AM GMT

By: Harry_Boxer

Stock-Markets The markets started out with a nice push higher early on, as futures were higher before the opening. They stair-stepped up in a small 5-wave advance and reached 1205 on the Nasdaq 100 and 880 on the S&P 500, but weren't able to do much more after the first hour. They then rolled over hard in the morning, bounced around during mid-day, couldn’t mount an advance, and then rolled over and made session lows with about an hour to go. Over the last hour they did come back a bit, but not enough to save the day.

Net on the day the Dow was down 100 to 8419, the S&P 500 down 8 1/2 to 863, and the Nasdaq 100 down nearly 6 to 1183 and a fraction. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) fell 5 3/4 to just under 201.

The technicals were negative on advance-declines by 3 to 2 on New York and a similar amount on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was better than 2 to 1 negative on New York on very light total volume of under a billion, at 960 million. Nasdaq traded a little less than 1 1/3 billion, also very light volume, and had about a 2 1/2 to 1 negative volume ratio.

The decidedly negative day in the technicals was reflected in board, which was mostly fractionally mixed. Potash (POT) was up 2.70 to 68.49, but even that was about 3 off its high earlier in the session. Almost Family (AFAM) was up 1.06 to 44.59, and the BGZ short instrument was up 1.56 to 67.26. Those were the only point-plus gainers on our board today, although CF was up 99 cents to 46.50.

Other than that, there were just small fractional gainers across the board. AAPL managed to gain 64 cents, and AGU up 84 cents, in the generally firm agriculture sector.

On the downside point-plus losers included the FXI down 1.25, the EWZ down 2, and the BGU down 1.05.

Financials were weak today, with BAC down 78 cents to 12.75, closing near the low for the day, as was C down 23 cents to 6.52, just a penny off its low, and MS down 14 cents to 14.44, just a few cents off its low.

In addition, RMBS lost 96 cents to 13.80, TSYS gave back 56 cents to 7.99, and ACH lost another 92 cents. The USO lost 63 cents to close at 30, but nearly a point off its 29.15 low earlier in the day, which was a new all-time low.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices were up in the morning, down in the afternoon and closed near the lows for the day. The positive part about today was that at the session's low they were just a few points off yesterday's weekly low, and they did manage to hold above that level for the rest of the session.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow and whether or not there's any downside follow, but the indices limped into the close, and we're still wondering where this Santa Claus rally is. is closed until Monday, January 5 -- Happy Holidays and New Year to everyone!

Good trading!


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