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Stock Market Indices Plunge and Close Sharply Lower

Stock-Markets / US Stock Markets Jan 14, 2009 - 08:59 PM GMT

By: Harry_Boxer

Stock-Markets Quite a negative session today. The indices plunged from the get-go as pre-market futures were sharply lower. They went lower and sharply so all morning, hit the morning lows after about an hour and a half, and then bounced around for several ours in consolidation mode. They did try to break out mid-afternoon and made slightly higher rally highs, but couldn't follow through overhead resistance and rolled over to new 6 day lows on the Nasdaq 100. The S&P 500 tested the lows but didn't confirm the NDX downside move, and they then both bounced into the close.

Net on the day the Dow was down 248-plus, closing a small fraction above 8200. The S&P 500 fell 29.12 to 842.67, and the Nasdaq 100 lost 39 and change at 1163.42. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) was down 8.78, about 4 1/2 percent today.

Advance-declines told the story, with 2800 losers and 316 advancers on New York, a more than 9 to 1 negative ratio. Up/down volume was more than 1 1/3 billion to the downside and just 46 million to the upside on New York, about a 30 to 1 ratio, on total volume of about 1.4 billion. Nasdaq traded just under 2 billion and had more than 1 3/4 billion to the downside and less than 140 million to the upside, a less than 12 to 1 negative volume ratio. board was almost all negative, other than the short instruments. The Direxion Large Cap Bear 3X Shares (BGZ) advanced 6.28 and the Ultrashort QQQQ ProShares (QID) 3.46

There were very small fractional gainers in a couple of our positions. Questcor (QCOR) was up 55 cents to 6.91, and China Sky One Medical (CSKI), one of our top charts for the year, was up 19 cents. Sequenom (SQNM) advanced 16 cents, holding up very well today.

Leading the way on the downside today were the agricultures stocks. Potash (POT) at 70.52 was down 5.91, CF Holdings (CF) at 44 1/4 down 3.43, Mosaic (MOS) at 33.21 down 1.87, and Agrium (AGU) at 70.90 down 2.01.

Apple (AAPL) lost 2.38 today to 85.33. SunPower (SPWR) got hammered for another 4.06 to 30.76, down $16 from just last week.

The iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF (EWZ) fell 2.36, and iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI) down 85 cents. Ultra Oil & Gas ProShares (DIG) fell 2.46.

Banks and financials got hammered today. Citigroup (C) at 4.53 was down 1.37 on more than 500 million shares traded. BAC at 10.20 was down 45 cents on 164 million, and MS at 7.19 was down 1.67. Hartford Financial Services (HIG) at 13.79 was down 1.65.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices broke hard in the morning, consolidated mid-day, retested the lows late in the session and bounced. But they are near the low end of the entire 6-day trading range, near key support on the Nasdaq 100 at 1160, and today's action took out significant short-term support on the S&P 500 at the 855-58 area, closing at 842.62.

So, a bearish development, but I do imagine at this point with today's technicals being as weak as they were, that the oscillators are now quite oversold and way overdue for an important snapback, which I expect to see soon.

Good trading!


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