By Paul Cherney
The Nasdaq has been testing intermediate term (a weekly view) "brick wall" resistance in the 1934-2106 area. Immediate resistance becomes thick with prints 2061-2106 and unless there is a series of headlines of undeniably bullish importance, I would guess that prints above 2061 (if they occur on Friday) will bring short-term sellers to the market which could prevent the initial strength from seeing significant follow-through during the morning.
A look at the chart of the Nasdaq from the first half of December shows a pretty well-defined layer of resistance in the 2041-2065 area, within this area is a concentration of resistance 2045-2054. If there is an opening gap higher on Friday morning, the odds are high that position traders (traders who hold positions for more than intraday) who have caught any piece of this lift of the past two days will be looking to book some profits. As long as there are long-term investors convinced that odds favor the upside, then retracements (intraday) should be shallow.
If that isn't the case then we are about to enter the earnings reporting season and ahead of those reports I think the downside is limited. This market wants to believe in the upside. The familiar high tech workhorses of the Nasdaq (Intel, Microsoft, Dell, Cisco, and Oracle) have attracted buyers.
Immediate intraday support for the Nasdaq is now 2027-2010 then 2003-1980.
The Nasdaq has well defined intermediate term chart support 1965-1853. The index has intraday chart support 1942-1913.
The S&P 500 has intermediate term "brick wall" resistance 1153-1206. The index has a focus of resistance 1165-1173. Immediate support is 1159-1150.
Cherney is market analyst for Standard & Poor's