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Mixed into the close

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After a higher open, then a pullback, stocks are rather mixed as we approach the final hour of today's trading. The Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,339 +0.79%, S&P 500 (SPX.X) 865 +0.77% and NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) 1,267 +0.71% have been building some modest gains since noon and attempt to shrug off some early morning sell programs.

The plethora of sector indexes we follow on a daily basis are showing mixed results with weakness in oil service stocks as depicted by the Oil Service Index (OSX.X) 70.32 -3.32%, while gold stocks as depicted by the Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 64.24 +3.39% post today's biggest sector gains.

Breadth is very mixed with some bullishness found at the NYSE with gainers outnumbering decliners by a narrow 17 to 14 margin, while breadth is slightly negative over at the NASDAQ with decliners outnumber advancers by a 17 to 14 margin.

Some improvement in the new high versus new lows is found, but still rather negative. At the NYSE, 87 stocks have achieved new 52-week lows versus 21 stocks hitting new highs. The NASDAQ continues to have new lows showing the upper hand with 118 stocks achieving new lows versus just 8 new highs.

Key technicals look to be psychological support on the Dow Industrials (INDU) at 8,000, with near-term resistance beginning to build at 8,700. While this is a rather large range, we've been experiencing intra-day swings of 200-point on a more common basis in recent sessions.

A quick look at the Dow 30 shows 25 stocks showing gains right now with strength found in drug giant Merck (NYSE:MRK) $48.50 +3.5%, Citigroup (NYSE:C) $31.37 +2.9% and Boeing (NYSE:BA) $40.59 +2.99%, and weakness in Disney (DIS) $13.98 -2.85%, SBC Communications (NYSE:SBC) $25.65 -1.72% and Philip Morris (NYSE:MO) $47.70 -1.13%.

Later today, after the close of trading, earnings reports will be light. Analysts are looking for biotech Protein Design (NASDAQ:PDLI) $12.20 -4.23% to report a loss of $-0.01 a share and grocers Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFMI) $37.87 -5.15% to report a profit of $0.34 a share and Winn-Dixie (NYSE:WIN) $15.00 -1.31% to report a profit of $0.32 a share.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor


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