Positive Signals

Intraday price action continues to support expectations of additional upside for the current move

By Paul Cherney

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. The following statistics are based on S&P 500 price data from 1972 through 2003.

The Friday before Memorial Day weekend has seen the S&P 500 close higher 19 out of 32 times (59% of the time).

The Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend has been higher only 12 out of 32 times, or 37.5% of the time.

The intraday price action continues to support expectations that there is probably additional upside left for the current move, but not every day is a gainer even in the strongest of trends.

A measurement of the Nasdaq price range of 1,865 to 1,938 -- 73 points -- added to the 1,938 level equals 2,011, this calculation is how some chartists would create an upside target for the Nasdaq if there is going to be a successful run after Tuesday's bullish breakout. The same calculation performed on the S&P 500 would equate to an S&P 500 level of 1,136.

Market indicators based on breadth and volume might offer additional signals increasing the odds for continuations higher.

Immediate intraday resistance for the Nasdaq is 1,989-2,009.11.

Immediate support for the Nasdaq is 1,975.66-1,967.40, which represents a focus of support. There is another layer of support at 1,971-1,957.58. That makes the 1,971-1,967.40 area thick support. Additional supports under 1,957 are 1,951-1,945, then 1,934-1,913.73, then 1,918.08-1,899.85, with a shelf of support 1,918-1,914.

Immediate intraday resistance for the S&P 500 is 1,116-1,129.25. The S&P 500's next layer of resistance above 1,116-1,129.25 is 1,135-1,149.

Immediate intraday support for the S&P 500 is 1,116.71-1,109.91, with a focus inside this zone at 1,116-1,112.71. The index has a small shelf at 1,109.04-1,106.10, then substantial support 1,100.72-1,090.74.

If there is a retracement into Tuesday's price range, it would be a sign of a strong market if buying support became obvious well above the 50% retracement of the daily range. That would mean prices should preferably attract buyers before prints of (roughly) Nasdaq 1,938, S&P 500 1,101.

During retracements, truly bullish markets often only approach support zones without printing inside them because buyers are so aggressive that they are satisfied with buying at any price cheaper than the previous print.

Cherney is chief market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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