Upbeat Data Can Drive Gains

Any favorable economic reports on Friday will likely allow the markets to move higher

By Paul Cherney

Higher closes are likely either Friday or Monday; this expectation is based on a combination of chart patterns and momentum established on Tuesday. Anything can be wrong at anytime.

If the Volatility Index (VIX) rebounds and moves above 25.53, expectations for closes higher than Wednesday's closes will probably simply be wrong.

If the VIX moves above the 23.40 level price action, the stock indexes will probably drift sideways with a negative bias.

If the VIX moves above 24.51, there is aggressive intraday selling taking place.

Anything resembling a favorable number in terms of Friday's gross domestic product (GDP), home sales, or Michigan Sentiment is probably going to allow the markets to move higher. Street estimates for GDP are 2.3% to 2.5% but it would probably take a number closer to 3% to re-kindle buying interest, which could see nice gains in the stock markets.

SUPPORTS Immediate supports are stairstep.

The Nasdaq has support 1457-1448 with a focus 1457-1453. The next stairstep of support is 1444-1439. S&P 500 support is 911-878 with a focus 907-900. Substantial supports are Nasdaq 1426-1392, and S&P 500 911-877, with especially thick support starting with prints of 896 to 887.

RESISTANCES S&P 500 resistance is 918-935 with a focus 924-931. The next resistance is 951-965. The Nasdaq has two focuses of resistance created by the price action near the January 2003 top and the November 2002 top, they are 1433-1467. and 1445-1474.69. These resistances overlap at 1445-1467. Next reistance is 1495-1521.

Cherney is chief market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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