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Markets Save The Last Dance for the Bulls

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Investors are finishing up the last trading day of 2008 and what a year it's been. Stocks have been drifting higher this week but it may be more of an absence of sellers than any real buying. Stocks started the week short-term oversold so it's not surprising to see a bounce. Speaking of bounces crude oil is seeing a pretty strong bounce. Oil had opened lower this morning under $38.00 a barrel but oil futures have recovered and are up more than 4% above $40 a barrel.

Some of the biggest movers today were actually treasury bonds with yields spiking as investors take profits in what has been an impressive two-month rally in bonds. The market is closing out 2008 with a relatively broad-based rally. The best performing sectors today are broker-dealers (XBD +2.4%), gold (GOX +2.5%), railroads (DJUSRR +2%), and retailers (RLX +1.8%).

A quick check of our OptionInvestor plays reveals a bullish breakout in Alcon (ACL). The stock is up 3% and breaking out past its 50-dma. A rally past $90.00 should be a breakout past the neckline on its inverse head-and-shoulders pattern. Our new play on BIDU is off to a strong start. Shares are up 3.79% to $131.75. Our bullish call plan on Energizer Holdings (ENR) has hit our first target at $54.25. Readers should be taking some profits here in ENR. Our new play on ESI continues to rally with shares up 2.5% and setting new three-month highs. Our bullish play on Lockheed Martin (LMT) has hit our target at $84.90 and the play is now closed.

Currently the DJIA is up 81 points at 8750. The NASDAQ composite is up 21.5 points at 1572. The S&P 500 is up about 9.5 points right at the 900 mark. The Russell 2000 smallcap index is up almost 8 points to 490.

Here is a quick snapshot of how some of the major averages fared in 2008:


Dow Jones Industrials -35%
S&P 500 Index         -39%
NASDAQ Composite      -42%
Dow Jones Financials  -55%
 
- Foreign markets -
 
London FTSE        -31%
German DAX         -40%
Japanese NIKKEI    -42%
Chinese Shanghai   -65%
Brazilian Bovespa  -41%

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