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Stock Market Sharp Sell-off in Last 10 Minutes

Stock-Markets / US Stock Markets Oct 30, 2008 - 07:01 AM GMT

By: Harry_Boxer

Stock-Markets Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe markets had a very strong session before -- and then after -- the FOMC announcement, when it lowered rates. Initially they dropped,but they rallied back sharply to new rally highs, then literally in the last 10 minutes the indices fell apart. The S&P 500 dropped nearly 50 points in 10 minutes, and the Dow 400 points, and they closed with a thud, down on the day on all the indices except the Nasdaq 100 which managed to salvage a small gain.

The day started out with a gap down. They bounced around in the morning and consolidated, moved up into the FOMC meeting, and then rolled over as the FOMC announced their rate cut. But after holding the morning pullback lows, they then rallied very sharply. A late pullback held initial support, and they tried to retest the highs, which they did but were unable to break through, and in the last 10 minutes rolled over very hard, as mentioned, in one of the sharpest 10-minute drops I've ever seen.

Net on the day the Dow closed under 9000, near 8991, down 74 and change. The S&P 500 closed at around 930, down 10 1/2, and the Nasdaq 100 at 1302 was up 4.55. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) was down off 3 percent today, down 6.47.

Advance-declines were positive by 3 to 2 on New York and a little less than that on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was 8 to 7 positive on New York on total volume of over 1.6 billion. Nasdaq traded over 2.7 billion and had a negative volume ratio of 7 to 6 . board was mixed, but there were some very big gainers, despite the late pullback. Potash (POT) was up more than 12 at one point, sold off sharply late, but still was up 9.72 to 79.40 on 26 million shares. In that same agriculture group, Agrium (AGU) was up 4.48 to 35.06, and Mosaic (MOS) was up 3.67 to 33.65 on 17 million.

SunPower (SPWR) advanced 4.24 to 37.67, and Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) 2.30 to 30.75, although all of these were dramatically off their late highs. Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) at 34.24 was up 4.61, trading as high as over 38 at one point. Apple (AAPL) at 104.55 was up 4.64, although that was at 109 1/2 with just 10 minutes to go.

The Brazilian ETF EWZ was up 1.99 to 35.67, although that traded over 37. DIG at 31.41 was up 1.31, although that was as high as 35.17 today.

On the downside United (UAUA) lost 1.76 to closed at 11 on the sharp rise in oil. Continental (CAL) was also down 83 cents today.

Broadcom (BRCM) had a relatively negative day today, down 91 cents to 16.84, and the FXI China ETF backed off 82 cents today, closing at 22.49.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns the indices extended yesterday's gains, sold off sharply in mid-afternoon but then came on to new rally highs, before a late very sharp sell-off smacked them back down and closed most of them in the loss column on the session.

So we'll see if that was meaningful or not tomorrow morning and if there is any downside follow-through.

Support levels to watch are at 1290 and then 1280 on the Nasdaq 100. The S&P 500 late session broke initial support at around 929-30, and next up is the 910-12 zone, which we'll be keeping an eye on.

Good trading!


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