What was expected to be a rather anemic session hasn't disappointed as the major indexes hold modest gains into the 3- day weekend, with many traders most likely not having shown up at work today, or already heading for the exits to their weekend destination.
Volumes are pretty close to what I thought they might be ahead of a 3-day weekend with NYSE volume at 956 million shares traded with an hour left in the session. Internals are bullish with the NYSE reporting advancers outnumbering decliners by a 2 to 1 margin with 327 stocks trading a new 52-week high compared to 10 stocks at new 52-week lows. It's notable that the 327 new 52- week highs is a new high for 2003 on this indicator and still shows bullish leadership existing among 1, 2 and 3-lettered stocks.
NASDAQ volumes have reached the 1.1 billion mark, with advancers outnumbering decliners by a 17 to 13 margin. 146 stocks have reached a 52-week high, compared to 13 stocks having traded a new 52-week low. On May 5, the NASDAQ reported it highest reading of 220 stocks at new 52-week highs.
In a rather lackluster trading day, it would appear that traders have had some time to start some rumors. Shares of IDEC Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDPH) $38.04 +8.7% have seen inexplicable gains today. There has been a trading desk rumor that Genentech (NYSE:DNA) $60.99 +3.7% might be shopping for an acquisition after its stock price has surged this week. Industry analysts say the rumor doesn't make sense as it relates to any type of overlapping synergies between the two.
I'm wondering if some DNA "shorts" didn't start the rumor in an attempt to bring in some sellers as the stock's price continues to surge.
Into the weekend, shares of DNA print a new high.
I did get an alert at Market Volatility Index (VIX.X) 21.32 -1.34% level of 21.22 again this Friday. Considering last Friday's trade at this level, Tuesday's session may be interesting and have traders putting together some trade plans and scenarios. Last Friday this alert was given, and the following trade session (Monday) the markets did see selling. With the bullish % high, I might suggest that BULLISH traders holding some larger positions, perhaps scale back a bit. I wouldn't let the VIX.X action overly dictate my trading, but use past observations as a way to at least review and assess trade risk in open positions.