Holding the Line

There could be some more hesitation for the Nasdaq on Tuesday, but downside remains limited

By Paul Cherney

Until I see technical evidence to the contrary, I think odds favor limited downside for the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. The line of least resistance is for higher prices.

This is the week of the Triple Witch -- when stock options, stock index options and stock index futures expire on the same day. That will happen on Friday. There could be some more hesitation on Tuesday. Losses on the day are possible but the residual positive price momentum demonstrated over the past couple of weeks probably has not been depleted yet and should re-assert itself sometime over the next few trade days.

The Nasdaq is testing a focus of resistance in the 1915-1942 area. The intraday high on Monday exceeded the 1942 level by printing 1946.23, but the index struggled with short-term (low volume) selling. The next layer of resistance above the 1942 level is 1956-1967, then 1977-2010, with thick resistance at 1984-2010. Immediate support is at 1922-1908.

The S&P 500 has a layer of support at 1163.91-1161.00, then 1158-1143.

The S&P 500 has been caught in a band of resistance which runs from 1150-1177. The next resistance above that is at 1190-1206.

Until I see something else (technically), I think the line of least resistance is for higher prices.

Cherney is market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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