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Stock Market Maintains Firm Footing to Close Slightly Higher

Stock-Markets / Stock Index Trading Apr 18, 2009 - 11:50 AM GMT

By: Harry_Boxer

Stock-Markets The indices managed to eke out gains at the close, but had an uneventful end to the week on options expiration day.

The day started out to the downside, and they were lower for most of the morning, but when support held at 1340 on the Nasdaq 100 and 860-61 on the S&P 500 on 2-3 occasions in the morning, they started to rally. A slow, steady climb accelerated in mid-afternoon when they reached their session highs at just over 1361 NDX and 875 SPX. They came down, retested, and bounced again up near the highs, but couldn't get through, and when that occurred they rolled over in the last 10-15 minutes and pared some of the gains.

Net on the day the Dow was up 5.90 to 8131 and the S&P 500 up 4.30 to 869.60, but the Nasdaq 100 up just barely, 94 cents, to 1353.92. The Philadelphia

Semiconductor Index (SOXX) also eked out a gain of 0.31 to 254.81

So very narrow and marginally higher for the session, but the indices were up almost every day this week.

The technicals were positive by more than 2 to 1 on advance-declines on New York and about 3 to 2 on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was 11 to 7 positive on New York on total volume of a little less than 2 billion. Nasdaq traded about 2 1/3 billion and had a 15 to 8 positive volume ratio. board was narrowly mixed for most of the day, but at the end of the day we did get some point-plus gainers. On the plus side, Chart of the Day DG FastChannel (DGIT) led the way, up 1.75 to 22.62. DryShips (DRYS), one of our picks this morning at around 6, closed at 7.17, up 1.62, on all-time record volume of 86.2 million traded. It's trading at 7.35 in the aftermarket.

American Italian Pasta (AIPC) at 31.80 was up 1.14. Apple (AAPL) gained 1.97 to 123.42, and Morgan Stanley (MS) closed at 25, up 1.03.
Those were the only point-plus gainers on our board.

Among fractional gainers, Amazon (AMZN) was up 80 cents, and Research in Motion (RIMM) up 84 cents. Sequenom (SQNM) added 79 cents, and Wells Fargo (WFC) was up 81 cents.

On the downside, UltraShort Financial ProShares (SKF) was down 1.62 to 58.65, and the Direxion Large Cap Bear 3X Shares (BGZ) lost 76 cents to 46.31. The UltraShort Real Estate ProShares (SRS) lost 39 cents to 27.50.

Ags were weak, with Mosaic (MOS) down 1.51 to 43.18, Potash (POT) down 55 cents to 86.76, and Agrium (AGU) down 1.62 to 40.06. Aluminum Corp. of China (ACH) lost 1.24 to 20.11.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices were down in the morning, up mid-day, and then backed off to close near the flat line, but slightly positive on the session, on solid technicals. So the rally continues, and despite options expiration day today, the indices wee able to maintain their footing and close with positive gains. We'll see if that spills over into next week.

Good trading!


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