Stocks Testing Resistance Levels

The potential breakout point for the Nasdaq would be the December high print of 1521.44

By Paul Cherney

The markets are testing immediate resistance levels.

During Friday's session, intermediate term indicators (intermediate term for my intraday calls) hit levels which usually mean that there should be residual positive momentum (higher prices). This means that even a couple of days of price weakness this week usually do not prevent the markets from having closes higher than Friday's. The Nasdaq has already done that but probably has more to go. The S&P 500 has not achieved a close above Friday's.

The December high print for the Nasdaq was 1521.44. The resistances above this level are not well-defined. It looks like the next resistance above 1521.44 will be 1543-1595, with a focus of 1547-1568. Quite often, the first move above a level of resistance (1521.44) sparks a short-term jump and then a retracement which tests the break-out point. For the Nasdaq, the potential breakout point would be the December high print of 1521.44.

The December and January resistance for the S&P 500 has some pretty consistent resistance at 930-935.05; the next resistance above that is 944-965.

The Federal Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday and most market observers expect no change in rates.

After Tuesday's close, Cisco Systems (CSCO ) will report and make comments. We are near the end of the reporting season, but healthy comments from Cisco could push the averages higher on Wednesday.

Supports: Immediate intraday support for the S&P 500 is 924-918, then 914.82-910.92, then 907-896.

Immediate support for the Nasdaq is 1500-1491, then 1487-1469.

Resistances: S&P 500 resistance is 918-935, with thick price traffic at 930-935.05. The next resistance is 944, with thick resistance starting 951 and higher.

The Nasdaq resistance runs from current levels up to 1521.44. The next resistance is 1543-1595 with a focus 1547-1568.

Cherney is chief market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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