The major stock indexes were all trading higher this afternoon before a 5.9 magnitude earthquake stuck the Northern Virginia area. Tremors where felt throughout the New York metropolitan area and as far as Michigan. The major stock indexes initially sold off when the earthquake took place, however, the markets look to have recovered quickly.
This morning, the SPDR S&P 500 Index (NYSE:SPY) staged a breakout pattern on the 10 minute charts. The target for the SPY on this pattern is around the $116.50 area. Believe it or not, the pattern did not break formation when traders hit the sell around 1:50 pm EST when the earthquake took place. Traders should always remain cautious in case of an aftershock or another possible earthquake. This is why it is extremely important to always protect trades with trailing stops.
The final hour of the session is always the real test for the major stock indexes these days. At this time, the markets look as if they have an above average chance of closing up strongly today. Recently, the major stock market indexes have not been able to hold the early gains into the close.