Stocks Adrift

The markets remain in the hands of the traders and sentiment remains hostage to U.S-Iraq headlines

By Paul Cherney

Friday is option expiration day.

Friday morning would be an ideal time to see some sort of an intraday shake-out. I have no indications that this will happen, but if it does, and the Nasdaq can print inside its recently established price gap, it would be a likely chart level for an intraday reversal, especially since it is options expiration day. Significant follow-through (if there is an intraday shake-out) is not likely without a headline that virtually everyone would recognize to be bullish. The Nasdaq's price gap runs 1319.52-1310.18 and would be a likely spot for short-sided players (or put owners) to book profits ahead of a weekend.

I have no major signals in place.

Volume remains light and zigzag, non-trending trade is possible on Friday.

The markets remain in the hands of the traders and sentiment remains hostage to U.S-Iraq headlines and nothing that happened on Thursday has changed that.

Immediate intraday support for the Nasdaq is 1329-1319.52. This represents the first 10 minutes of trading on Tuesday. If prices started printing below 1319, some bears who have been short will use prints near this area as a bell-ringer for taking short-side profits and there could be a lift. The index has a gap in the charts that runs from 1319.52-1310.18.

The Nasdaq has additional support at 1303-1279 with a focus at 1296-1287.

The Nasdaq has intraday resistance starting at 1333 and then thickening at 1338-1347. The next layer of resistance is 1355-1379.

Immediate S&P 500 support is 838-821 with thicker support starting inside this band at 830-823.

The S&P 500 has immediate intraday resistance is 839-843.39 then another layer at 849-853. Resistance is stacked, also at 855-869, with a focus 857-862.

Cherney is chief market analyst for Standard & Poor's