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NASDAQ at new lows, but Dow hangs tough

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Almost like a train struggling to make it up a high mountain pass, the NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) 1,138 -0.15% acts like a heavily weighted caboose that slowly pulls on investor psychology and perhaps keep the Dow Industrials (INDU) 7,529 +0.01% from making a move higher.

Just after it was announced that President Bush had ordered an inquiry into the West Coast dockworkers lockout, stocks tried to firm and within the last hour, the Dow Industrials did manage to show a triple-digit gain at 7,637, but has since given back 100 points.

In recent days, weeks and months, I've felt it would be the Dow Industrials to show a major market index show first signs of bullishness to actually try and lead the markets out of its slump, but consecutive sessions of 52-week lows in the NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) and tech-heavy NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) hints there just aren't a lot of aggressive bulls doing any buying, nor jittery technology bears eager to lock in handsome gains.

NASDAQ Composite Chart - Daily Interval

Neither stocks nor indexes that trade at 52-week lows are considered "in favor" by traders or investors. The NASDAQ may be "held up" today, only by the intra-day bullishness found from the Dow Industrials.

Market volume is just about normal today with NYSE volume of 911 million shares, but NASDAQ volume rather light at just over 800 million shares traded.

On a daily basis we've noted that NASDAQ breadth indicators have lagged any bullishness when compared to NYSE breadth indicators, but NASDAQ breadth leads when weakness is found.

Breadth today has NYSE and NASDAQ running about the same with decliners having the upper hand by a 7 to 3 margin.

New highs versus new lows is weak with the NYSE showing 29 stocks at new 52-week highs versus 362 stocks at new lows. Meanwhile, NASDAQ is slightly weaker in this category with just 10 stocks at new highs versus 323 stocks hitting new lows.

NASDAQ most actives has CSCO $9.18 -0.28%, SUNW $2.53 +0.11%, INTC $14.10 +0.39%, ORCL $7.99 -0.21% and MSFT $44.66 +0.89%.

NYSE most actives has GE $23.58 -0.43%, EMC $4.07 +0.24%, JPM $17.02 +0.48%, C $27.32 -0.66% and PFE $29.00 +0.45%.

Jeff Bailey

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