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Consumer confidence lower than expected

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Today's weaker than expected consumer confidence number has stocks trading near their session low. October's consumer confidence reading of 85.5 was well below consensus estimates of 95.9 and lower than September's reading of 97.6. Today's confidence reading was the lowest in eight years. A year-ago, consumer confidence reading was at 135.8.

IBM to repurchase up to $3.5 billion worth of stock

Today, International Business Machines' (NYSE:IBM) board of directors announce it had given the company approval to buy up to $3.5 billion worth of the company's stock. Earlier this year, IBM's board authorized a similar buyback on April 24th for a $3.5 billion share buyback. So far this year, IBM has bought back $4.3 billion worth of stock.

"Big Blue" has had a nice bullish run from the $88 level to our downward trend dating back to the September 2000 highs. Our range of retracement gives us a better feel for levels that the market had and has been trading. Support looks to be firming in the $100-$105 range.

Nasser to retire from Ford

Ford's (NYSE:F) CEO Jacques Nasser announced his immediate retirement from Ford Motor (F) today, after his future at the slumping auto maker had been in doubt for the past several months. William Clay Ford Jr., great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, will take the position of CEO. Shares of Ford Motor (F) are trading lower by 8 cents to $16.11.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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