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Stocks firming after this morning's economic data

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The broader market averages have firmed in the last couple of hours after this morning's economic data that showed a decline in consumer confidence.

The Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) did manage to trade in positive territory within the past hour, but has since given back those fractional gains and has edged lower. Buoyancy in the group is perhaps some traders positioning themselves ahead of today's CSFB conference and potential positive comments from presenter KLA- Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC) speculating that there will be

Semiconductor Index Chart -

This morning's low came just above our 50% retracement bracket at $514.54, but this is a group I have a hard time getting behind right now. The bullish percent reading from Dorsey/Wright and Associates for the group currently stands at 65%, which is down from recent bullishness of 70%. MACD has crossed over and the technicals hint that a pullback to the $475 level wouldn't be out of the question.

We've profiled some stocks in the group recently, but have been using tight stops and the stocks in the group seem to whip around and that is also making for some tough trading. There sure seems to be a lot of bullishness in the group and high hopes of a turnaround. Perhaps KLA-Tencor (KLAC) will give investors further information on what they're seeing for the sector going forward, but I'm just not willing to speculate with near-term upside at the $555 level.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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