Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Small Rebound

The indices managed some pretty gains, but it was a deceptive day. We started off quite nervously and it looked like another failed bounce might kick in, but after an hour of some selling we found support and gained strength the rest of the day. The market even managed to close near the highs for the first time in a while, although it did pull back slightly in the last few minutes. Despite the strength, breadth was mediocre -- particularly on the Nasdaq where there were 1394 gainers to 1219 decliners. Volume was quite light but did pick up over Tuesday. It wasn't a wild dip-buying frenzy but the overall tone was good.

Once again the S&P 500 fizzled out as it hit resistance in the 1300 to 1304 area - which everyone is watching and is obviously triggering some selling as it gets tested. It is probably healthier not to move through that level too quickly as the chances of a failed breakout would be higher without better support. We'd be better off with some more back-and-forth action, which would move shares into stronger hands and provide a foundation for a stronger move.

If AAPL hadn't lagged today, the indices would have had much bigger gains -- but a lot of technology laggards finally acted better. The mediocre breadth is still a concern, but there were definite positives as well.

We are in the same position for a couple days now, with the indices trying to build on the recent bounce but running into resistance right where it's expected. It is a positive that we don't roll back down right away, but this is not the sort of V-ish action that the bulls enjoyed for so long prior to mid-February.

The news continues to be tilted to the negative, but we managed to shrug off higher oil and issues in Portugal. There were some dip buyers once again, and that is what the market needs to kill this downtrend.

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