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Split decision

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The major market indexes reached their best levels of the session just after President Bush wrapped up his afternoon speech before the Economic Club of Chicago, but bullishness turned back to mixed as the major indexes once again trade mixed.

The Dow Industrials (INDU) 8,770 -0.03% trade near unchanged levels after challenging the 8,800 level for a second consecutive session, only to give back that gain, but to a higher session low of 8,750.

The more heavily exposed-to-technology NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 1,076 +1.38% continues to hold strong as daily bullishness continues to present itself in the Disk Drive Index (DDX.X) 155.21 +4.04% as it has achieved its best levels of the session in the past 5-minutes.

Sector action hasn't changed all the much as the session has progressed, with the bulk of technology sectors posting gains, while some of the more "defensive" sectors, specifically energy, hover near their lows.

While the broader equity market has the S&P 500 Index (SPX.X) 924.47 -0.48% trading in a rather tight range today, traders may be eyeballing the 923 level which is today's intra-day "pivot" level for any sign of strength/weakness carryover into tomorrow's trading session. A close above 923 could lend to a more bullish tone into tomorrow's trade, while a close below the daily "pivot" of 923 could bring a more cautious approach to tomorrow's trading session.

Treasuries saw little trading response to President Bush's speech and trading in the 10-year March futures contract (ty03h) 113'170 +0.25% finished the session just about where they were trading during, and at the conclusion of President Bush's address.

Broader market volume is slightly heavier on the NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) 1,433 +0.87% than at yesterday's close, with the NASDAQ showing current volume of 1.512 billion share, which is ahead of yesterday's 1.5 billion shares. While volume is brisk at the NYSE, with 1.3 billion shares trade, NYSE volume just about matches yesterday's 1.4-billion share level.

Broader market breadth has improved slightly from the 01:00 PM update with decliners still having the upper hand in today's trade. The NYSE currently has decliners outnumber advancers by a 19:13 ration (19:12 at 01:00 PM) and NASDAQ decliners outnumbering advancers by a 17:16 margin (17:14 at 01:00 PM). Not much of a change here, but slight build of bullishness toward the latter part of the session. This may hint of a near-term tendency among traders to be less willing to carry some short positions into the close as today's major indices held the bulk of yesterday's gains.

Jeff Bailey

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