Short-Covering Rally in Progress

Another day of higher prices would be natural but don't expect a repeat of Thursday's performance

By Paul Cherney

Thursday's advance was the first day of a short-covering rally. They typically last 1 to 4 trade days. Another day of higher prices would be natural but don't expect a repeat of Thursday's performance. There will be some profit-taking (maybe tomorrow, more likely early next week) which will cause a retracement. When I get the chance to look at the internals on the retracement I will be able to give you a better idea of what the likelihood of a more sustainable trend is.

Here's a question I get asked regularly: Will the Nasdaq retest the April lows? It is very unlikely. The Fed has made six consecutive rate cuts, if you look back over the history of the major equity indexes in the wake of a sixth rate cut, the worst downside risk (since 1960) for the Nasdaq has been a closing loss of 12.23% which in this market would equate to a NASDAQ close of 1821, which is well above the 1638.80 low of April 4, 2001. The worst closing loss (from the day of the sixth rate cut) for the S&P 500 was a loss of 5.08% which would equate to a close of 1149.55. The Apr. 4th close for the S&P 500 was 1103.25.

Nasdaq: End-of-day charts show Nasdaq resistance in the 2039-2104 area with a focus 2088-2101. The next resistance is a brick wall at 2137-2181.05, the first move into this area should spark some profit-taking.

The Nasdaq has support 2022-1934 with a focus 2003-1971.

Immediate S&P 500 resistance is 1207-1218, there is a brick wall of resistance in the 1227-1240 area.

Immediate S&P 500 support is now 1202-1184 then 1170-1139.

Cherney is Market Analyst for Standard & Poor's

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