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Stocks recoup losses, now post gains

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Stocks have made a sudden turn higher in what looks to have been a move sparked by Dow component Johnson&Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) $51.77 +3.97% from the $49.50 level after Bloomberg reported that Medicare chief Thomas Scully told a congressional panel that Johnson&Johnson's Cypher drug-coated stent is likely to win FDA approval within the next month.

I say I think this happened as it had the Dow Industrials (INDU) 7,759 +0.02% lifting from its lows and that "lift" looks to have sparked some short-covering no only in the Dow, but the major indexes as well.

The NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 953.72 -0.31% is one of our major indexes that is just shy of recouping today's losses.

The move higher also came just when the Treasury markets closed for trading. Just prior to their close, some selling came in at the final 15-minutes of trade, but I don't really see anything there that might have signals a bullish signal for the recovery we've seen in stocks.

From our 01:00 PM EST update, the recovery in the equity markets has seen the Dow jump up through the 7,691 and 7,750 levels and I'd suggest that bearish traders with FULL positions look to move some BEARISH cash to the sidelines here.

I'm also watching the Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 73.88 +3.7% here and precious metals stocks are still near their highs of the session. My thoughts here are that anything other than a technical bounce that has come from the Dow's WEEKLY S2 level of 7,626 where some institutional buy programs might have been lurking, would have found a reversal back to the downside in gold stocks. So far, I haven't seen sellers come into the group, which might come from some type of "positive news" in the wings on the "war with Iraq" front.

I'm also looking at crude oil futures and here too I see the April contract having closed at its 52-week high of $35.17 and session high of $35.17.

Jeff Bailey

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