By Paul Cherney
The decline on Tuesday, Nov. 16, and the advance on Wednesday, Nov. 17, have probably given holders of both put and call options the opportunity to exit positions. That means Thursday could be a relatively flat day.
The technical condition of the market has not really changed. The trend for prices remains positive. Retracements are a natural part of any advance. End of day momentum measures suggest that any short-term price weakness should attract buyers, not sellers, so downside risk should be limited, but some sideways price action might unfold.
Immediate intraday support for the S&P 500 is 1,178.44-1,175.32. Nasdaq intraday support is 2,087.30-2,073.35.
The Nasdaq has resistance at 2,108-2,153.83. The beginning of this level was tested intraday on Wednesday (intraday high print was 2,112.18) and sellers moved in. A short-term stall in the advance might unfold, but the intermediate term and the seasonal strength remain positive.
Nasdaq support is 2,068-2,025 with thick support 2,068-2,056. Another layer of strong support exists at 2,036-2,027.69. Next intraday support is 2,020.67-2,002.
S&P 500 support is 1,177-1,160, with thick support 1,170-1,160. The next layer of organized intraday support is 1,147-1,138.50.
The S&P 500 has thick resistance at 1,185-1,226 and this area could be a short-term stall zone.
We are at the beginning of what has been historically, on average, the three best performing months of the year: November through January. Downside risk should be limited.
Cherney is chief market analyst for Standard & Poor's