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Stocks hold higher ground despite jobless claims

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Stocks continue to shrug off economic data that spells of gloomy economic conditions. As has been the case for most of the week, today's news of unemployment rising to 5.4% as 415,000 workers lost their jobs has not affected stock prices all that much.

The S&P Retail Index (RLX.X) leads sector gainers with a 2.4% gain, while Semiconductors (SOX.X) rise 2.17% and deeper cyclicals found in the Chemical sector (CEX.X) rise 1.79%.

The long-end of the bond market and the 10-year ($TNX.X) and 30- year ($TYX.X) are seeing a good round of selling. YIELDS are rising in both to 4.331% and 4.932% respectively. The 5-year note ($FVX.X) is also seeing selling as YIELD in that note rises to 3.57%. The short-term 13-week ($IRX.X) is seeing buying with YIELD falling to 1.95% ahead of next weeks FOMC meeting.

Triple, triple for Chemical Index

I like "boring" stock, make that, I LOVE boring stocks. Not that any stock in the market is predictable, but sometimes it's those boring stocks that put money in a traders pocket on a more consistent basis than some of the more volatile and glamorous stocks we know as technology stocks.

Today's trade at $405 in the S&P Chemical index is important. Not just because many of the stocks in this group are considered "deep cyclicals" that often times lead a market higher in an economic recovery, but the breaking of downward trend (put in place in June) could have the group entering another bullish phase.

S&P Chemical Index - $5 box

Today's trading at $405 was enough to break a triple top at the $400 level and break this index above longer-term downward trend (bearish resistance).

Neogen Corporation - $1 and $0.50 box

Yesterday, this four-lettered chemical stock, Neogen Corp. (NASDAQ:NEOG) completed the bullish triangle formation when the stock traded $20, then jumped to a session high of $22.38. Today the stock is pulling back to the $20.83 level, but looks bullish longer-term. Unfortunately for options traders, the stock does not currently trade options, but may be appropriate for longer- term investors the like to hold strong stocks in what looks to be a strengthening sector.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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