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Minding Our P's and Q's

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Minding Our P's and Q's

Stock traders are inundated with acronyms. SEC, QQQ, MACD, RSI, and the list goes on! While all those letters can be quite daunting for beginners, using the abbreviations quickly becomes second nature. In this weekend's edition of the Index Trader Wrap http://members.OptionInvestor.com/Itrader/marketwrap/iw_041703_1.ASP, Leigh Stevens coined a handy acronym to describe previous highs, or prior price peaks - "ppp." All we need is a few of those CNBC analysts to start using the term and it'll become part of our daily lexicon!

All kidding aside, technicians will find it interesting that the NASDAQ was able to overcome its "ppp" this morning.

Daily chart: NASDAQ

The morning started off on a promising note as the Composite tagged a new multi-month high of 1432. Unfortunately for the bulls, the early rally proved to have little staying power. This action mirrors the two previous attempts to move through resistance in the 1425 region.

Meanwhile, the NASDAQ-100 and its tracking stock (the QQQ's) have actually traced an ominous series of lower lows.

Daily chart - QQQ:

The overall tech group is going to have a very tough time trading higher without leadership from the NASDAQ-100 - and more specifically, the big-caps such as CSCO, INTC, and MSFT. All three of those stocks are currently trading in the red after briefly moving into positive territory this morning.

The action hasn't been much more exciting over on the Dow. Other than the initial move higher this morning (which was quickly sold off), the index has traded in a narrow 60-point range. A lack of market-moving news and general uncertainty on Wall Street seems to have doomed the major averages to continued sideways trading as we move towards the closing bell. Volume remains lackluster across the market, with 984 million shares on the NYSE and 920 million on the NASDAQ. In keeping with the recent trend, new 52-week highs are dominating new 52-week lows on both exchanges.

Noteworthy earnings after the bell today include Boston Scientific (BSX), Capital One (COF), and Silicon Labs (SLAB).

Kent Barton

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