By Paul Cherney
Thursday's equity markets couldn't get a trend going in either direction. The price action appeared to be part of a consolidation of the huge gains seen in the prior couple of weeks.
The Nasdaq's intraday action was particularly choppy as the index tested the 2096 level 4 times during the day but was unable to break above it. This acts as confirmation of the importance of this level as resistance. Early weakness in Friday's market could produce a turnaround in prices. A test of the 2030-1995 support area seems likely in the morning and if that occurs, a rebound in prices and a move above the 2050 level could spark an intraday upleg and another test of resistance.
What if I'm wrong?
If the Nasdaq pushes below the 1995 level without garnering buying interest in only 3 or 4 minutes, then downside risk opens for prints and a close in the 1962-1868 area; there is a focus of support in the 1943-1919 area.
The S&P 500's close was inside the immediate band of resistance which is 1223-1238. The next resistance is 1253-1273. Immediate supports are 1212-1202 then 1193-1158. The S&P 500 appears to be in better technical condition than the Nasdaq and it is doubtful to me that the S&P 500 will dip below 1193.
Cherney is Market Analyst for Standard & Poor's