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Stock Market Volatile Session Ends Higher on Mortgage Subsidy News

Stock-Markets / Stock Index Trading Feb 12, 2009 - 08:34 PM GMT

By: Harry_Boxer

Stock-Markets Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe markets had quite a volatile session with four major substantial intraday swings that created a day of volatility for sure. Net on the day the indices closed slightly higher for the most part, except for the Dow, which was down a tad. The day started out with a big gap down. They tested the lows and actually took them out on the S&P 500 and slightly so on the Nasdaq 100, but rallied back off of 1205 NDX and 812 SPX and staged a strong 5-wave rally that lasted into late morning. The NDX moved from 1205 to 1240, and the SPX trailed, only moving from about the 812 area to 827.


An equally steep decline ensued that took them all the way down to retest the lows on the NDX and take them out on the SPX, which reached as low as 808. However, late in the session Reuters reported that the Obama administration was hammering out a program to subsidize mortgage payments for troubled homeowners, and the markets took off, fueled by a run in the financials. A vertical advance saw the NDX run from 1206 to 1242 in the last 45-50 minutes, with the SPX jumping from 808 to 835, closing right there, a very strong vertical rally which put them at the session highs going away at the close.

Net on the day the Dow was down just 6.77, but closed 240 points off the low. The S&P 500 was up 1.45, 27 points off its low, and the Nasdaq 100 was 38 points off its low, up nearly 16 on the day. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) managed to close up 2.79, about an 8 point swing off its low.

The technicals were not able to get back into the plus column on New York, where decliners led advancers by 16 to14, but managed to get into the plus column on Nasdaq by 60 issues. Up/down volume was 7 to 6 positive on New York on total volume of 1.45 billion. Nasdaq traded more than 2.4 billion and had 2 to 1 positive volume ratio.

TheTechTrader.com board saw many swings back and forth, particularly a strong swing up near the close. Leading the way today was Top 20 list member American Italian Pasta (AIPC), up 4.42 to 31.16 on a terrific earnings report. Apple (AAPL) jumped 2.45 to 99.27. Palm Inc. (PALM) jumped past 9, closing at 8.98, up 95 cents on 12 1/2 million,

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The agriculture stocks were strong, with CF Holdings (CF) up 2.94 to 55.05 on a strong earnings report. Potash (POT) was up 1.09 to 86.09, Agrium (AGU) up 1.23 to 39.20, and Mosaic (MOS) up 86 cents to 23.05.

Financials had a strong late snapback, although many of them did not get back in to the plus column. JP Morgan (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS) just managed to edge into the green after being down sharply earlier.

Several of our portfolio positions generally had a good day. Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) gained 1.68 to 28.73, and DG FastChannel (DGIT) jumped 1.35 to 15.50 after a strong earnings report. Net 1 Ueps Technologies (UEPS) closed at 15.19, up 61 cents today, near its high for the year.

The only point-plus loser on our board was Hartford Financial Services (HIG), down 1.04 to 12.54.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices got down to important support, took them out on the S&P but managed to hold mid-January lows and rallied extremely sharply in the last hour, to close way off the lows and positive on the S&P and NDX. It's going to be interesting to see if they can get a follow-through tomorrow, and whether the positive news out of Washington will have any staying power.

Good trading!

Harry

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Mr. Boxer's commentaries and index analysis represent his own opinions and should not be relied upon for purposes of effecting securities transactions or other investing strategies, nor should they be construed as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy any security. You should not interpret Mr. Boxer's opinions as constituting investment advice. Trades mentioned on the site are hypothetical, not actual, positions.

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