Bracing for a Pause

Some minor weakness Tuesday or Wednesday would be perfectly natural

By Paul Cherney

The technical condition of the markets have not changed dramatically. There are some minor divergences between higher prices and volume momentum (slightly weaker) and this combination can precede some price weakness, but basically, end of day momentum measures remain at levels that usually mean retracements in price are short in duration and shallow in depth.

There is a tendency for some price weakness in the beginning of December, but a "tendency" is not a law of the markets written in stone. Last year, the S&P 500 went basically sideways until Dec. 10 and then started another leg higher.

Some minor weakness Tuesday or Wednesday would be perfectly natural.

The immediate line of NASDAQ support is 2146-2128 then 2117-2090.35. The index has additional support 2112-2052, so the 2112-2090 area is a focus of buying demand.

The S&P 500 has immediate intraday support 1186-1167 and overlapping support at 1170.87-1160.52 which makes the 1171-1167 area focus of buying support.

Additional S&P 500 support layers are: 1177-1160, 1147-1127. The 1147-1127 area has a focus of support 1144-1138.50.

Additional NASDAQ supports are 2094-2052 and 2068-2025 and that makes the 2068-2052 area thick with support. The next layer of support is 2049.77-2032.

NASDAQ resistance: There were about 7 trade days in January of this year when the NASDAQ traded sideways in the 2119-2153.83 area. So far, the NASDAQ has spent 4 trade days posting prints above 2117 without decisively breaking above and closing above the top of the focus of resistance at 2132-2153.83. The index exceeded the 2153 level intraday on Thursday and on Friday and on Monday, but the advance attracted sellers, not more buyers. Current NASDAQ resistance is a big band 2118-2181.05 with a focus 2132-2153.83. Next resistance is 2205-2328.

The S&P 500 has immediate resistance 1195-1226.

Cherney is chief market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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