Positive Bias in Place

There are sturdy bases of support for the Nasdaq at 1425-1317, and for the S&P 500 at 926-867

By Paul Cherney

All the sideways travel in the markets that occurred from the last week of October until this past week represents a sturdy base of support. Those levels are Nasdaq 1425-1317 for the Nasdaq and 926-867 for the S&P 500. I do not expect these levels to break if tested.

The markets are likely to see some consolidation sideways but a positive bias remains in place.

The Nasdaq's 200-day moving average is near 1493. I looked at the price performance of the Nasdaq the last time it tested its declining 200-day moving (meaning Nasdaq prices moving up to test a declining 200-day moving average). This occurred in December, 2001, and January, 2002. The index spent 41 trade days moving sideways, bounded by a closing premium of 6.88% and a closing discount of 2.61%.

The Nasdaq's best closing gain was a +6.88% premium to the 200-day moving average, which for today's markets would be equivalent to roughly Nasdaq 1596.

The biggest discount to the 200-day moving average was -2.61%, which for today's markets would equate to 1454.

Most of the time, the index was near the 200-day moving average or slightly higher near a 3% premium to the 200 day. A 3% premium to the 200-day would equate to a Nasdaq print of 1538.

Support: The S&P 500 has multiple stairsteps of support within the broad 926-867 area: 915-907, 910-904, and 897-887.

Immediate Nasdaq support is intraday 1488-1478, then 1468-1441, with a focus at 1459-1448.

Resistance: The S&P 500 has resistance at 932-965. Immediate intraday resistance is 936-942.

The Nasdaq has resistance at 1492-1568.

Cherney is chief market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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