Bears Take Weekly Lead
The market finished lower on Thursday following a choppy session as the bears won their second-straight session for the first time in 2 weeks. The bulls continue to hold support but the bears have hit Tech and the small-caps hard to take the weekly lead. A positive close today could help the bulls regain momentum into next week but a break below support could suggest a top is in.
The Dow dropped 73 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 15,545. The blue-chips fell to 15,544 shortly after the open but rebounded to test a high of 15,651 before fading in the afternoon. The close below 15,600 keeps 15,400-15,350 in play while a close above this level would be bullish for a continued run higher.
The S&P 500 dipped 7 points, or 0.4%, to settle at 1,756. The index tested a low of 1,755 in the morning session but cleared 1,758 in the afternoon. The bulls held support at 1,750 but need a close above 1,775 if they plan to push 1,800. If not a back test to 1,725-1,700 could be in the works.
The Nasdaq declined 11 points, or 0.3%, to end at 3,919. Tech opened lower and kissed 3,909 before reversing course and tripping a high of 3,945. The struggle at 3,950 continues but as long as 3,900 holds up the bulls are in good shape to test 3,975-4,000. A close below this level gets 3,875-3,850 in the mix.
The Russell 2000 slipped 5 points, or 0.5%, to close at 1,100. The small-caps fell below the 1,100 level to 1,097.84 before making a run to 1,108. A close below 1,100 today opens the door for a test down to 1,075 but if the bulls can clear 1,110 then 1,125-1,150 would still be in play.
The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, 13.75, up 0.10) traded on both sides of the ledger as well, reaching a peak of 14.02 shortly after the opening bell before falling to a low of 13.28 shortly after 2pm. We had a few subscribers email us their VIX quotes from Wednesday after we mentioned there were several financial websites reporting different quotes for the high. Yahoo kept its historical price at 21.26 for Wednesday's peak while StockCharts is showing the high just north of 15 for the VIX.
Today's action could provide clues for next week and we will be reading the tea leaves all day to try and get a good read on where the market is headed next week. Our weekend chart work will also help but a higher close today would still be bullish for a continued rally. A lower to nasty close on a Friday could spell trouble and something we will need to keep an eye on.
As we head to press, futures look like this: Dow (+23); S&P 500 (+1); Nasdaq 100 (+4).