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Stocks struggle to hold gains

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It continues to be a mixed market as depicted by the major market averages. The Dow Industrials have been back and forth the unchanged level all morning, but have battled back from earlier lows of 8,116, to trade down just 13 points at 8,172. The S&P 500 Index (SPX.X) is holding on to a narrow 2 point gain at 840, while the broader NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) holds a 6 point gain at 0.54.

Weakness is found in gold stocks as depicted by the Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 56.53 -4.97% as this index sinks back to levels not seen since early January, prior to a euphoric rise to the 88 level. The weakness in gold looks to be not only due to lack of inflation concerns, but the recent stability in the U.S. dollar, which shows gains against the major foreign currencies as the U.S. Dollar Index (dx00y) 106.43 +1.23% achieves a 2-week high.

Telecom and telecom-related sectors are showing weakness today and keeping gains in the NASDAQ at bay. The Wireless Telecom Index (YLS.X) 36.86 -5% and Fiber Optic Index (FOP.X) 35.62 -4.45% are breaking fresh 52-week lows as is the North American Telecom Index (XTC.X) 315.19 -5.06%.

The wireless sector is under pressure as Moody's cuts LM Ericsson Telephone (NASDAQ:ERICY) $0.81 -19% debt to "junk" rating, while the fiber optic sector suffers from negativity regarding JDS Uniphase's (NASDAQ:JDSU) $2.13 -15.81% recently released quarterly earnings announcement.

Pentagon denies rumors from Afghanistan

Earlier this afternoon, stocks did slip lower on reports that 4 U.S. soldiers were killed and others injured in an ambush in eastern Afghanistan. CNN the reported that the Pentagon denied that U.S. solders were ambushed.

Tyco holds gains

Shares of recently battered Tyco International (NYSE:TYC) $11.75 +42% lead the percentage gainers list as well as volume with over 57.3 million shares traded. This comes after yesterday's 52-week low to $6.98 on rumor the company may be facing a cash crunch. Those rumors were quickly denied by the company and today's announcement of a new CEO has shorts getting punished and looking for cover.

Tyco remains a highly speculative trade (long or short) as the stock is easily swayed by various rumors and speculation regarding SEC inquiries.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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