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Wild Stock Market Swings in Losing Session

Stock-Markets / Volatility Jan 22, 2009 - 11:48 PM GMT

By: Harry_Boxer

Stock-Markets The market certainly got some volatility today, down in the morning, up mid-day and then back down late in the day. But it ended with losses for the session. The day started out with a big gap down on negative futures. They backed and filled in the morning, bear-flagged, and then went lower, reaching the session lows by mid-morning. That was right at yesterday's mid-day lows. When those levels held the indices then staged a rally.

By lunch hour, it was backing and filling in a consolidation mode, and then exploded out of that early afternoon in a very strong rally that nominally took out yesterday's highs on the Nasdaq 100 but fell just short on the S&P 500. When that occurred, they then rolled over hard, gave back about 2/3 of the gains, and bounced in the last half hour to pare the losses.

Net on the day the Dow was down 105.3, the S&P 500 12 3/4, and the Nasdaq 100 about 17.7. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) lost 5 today and closed very near 200 at 199.99.

Advance-declines were a little less than 4 to 1 negative on New York and about 3 to 1 negative on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was a little less than 4 to 1 negative as well as on New York on total volume of about 1.55 billion. Nasdaq traded 2.3 billion and had about a 4 1/2 to 1 negative volume ratio.

As a result of the losses in the indices, most stocks on board were down, other than a couple isssues that had earnings reports today. Leading the way on the plus side, Apple (AAPL) was up 5.53 to 88.36 and Potash (POT) at 73.19 was up 4.02, in what analysts interpreted as positive earnings reports.

Financials were lower in the morning, strong by mid-day, and gave back some of it by the end of the day, but they closed mixed, with Morgan Stanley (MS) at 17.58 up 72 cents and JP Morgan (JPM) at 23.10 up 47 cents today. However, Citigroup (C) was down 56 cents, Bank of America (BAC) down 90 cents, and Wells Fargo (WFC) down 86 cents.

Other point-plus losers included SunPower (SPWR) at 29.17 down 3.32. Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) gave back 1.42 to 23.59, and Hartford Financial Services (HIG) at 12.18 was down 1.31. Aluminum Corp. of China (ACH) lost 1.10 to 10 1/4.

The ultrashort ETFs obviously fared well, with the Direxion Financial Bear 3x Shares (FAZ) was up 9, and the Direxion Large Cap Bear 3X Shares (BGZ) up 3.

Among the losing ETFs, the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI) fell 1.25, Direxion Financial Bull 3x Shares (FAS) down 1.52, iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF (EWZ) down 1, Ultra Oil & Gas ProShares (DIG) 1.39, Direxion Large Cap Bull 3X Shares (BGU) 1.46, and the U.S. Oil Fund ETF (USO) down 1.09.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, there were some wild swings today back and forth, reaching key short-term support and then testing short-term resistance, neither of which were able to be penetrated as the indices closed near mid-range but down on the session.

We'll see how it goes over the next couple days, as to whether the recent action is just a consolidation with more downside coming, or a basing attempt in an effort to turn the current down trend back up.

Good trading!


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