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  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  4:59:10 PM
Fine tuning of (es04h) per a futures trader's comments, I've made some fractional adjustments to my "fits" of fitted retracement. I liked the trader's comments and were well thought out, obseved based on historical trade. What do you think? Link

The trader's observation based on levels is that once futures traded blue 50%, it never trade purple 19.1%. Today, futures trade purple 50%, so if trade pattern is to repeat, shouldn't trade blue 61.8% and has upper zone in play. Good test is "events/surprise" (Saddam capture / December ISM) that may have created the upside test of 50% levels, where 3rd session later, the near-term level of resistance (currently 1,112) was broken to the upside.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  4:20:54 PM
Closing Internals at this Link

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  4:07:33 PM
The best performing sectors for 2004 (thus far)

NWX networking index: +2.32%
DDX disk drive index: +2.58%
GHA hardware index: +1.54%
INX Internet index: +1.25%

DRG drug index: +0.86%
HMO healthcare: +0.87%

The worst performing sectors for 2004

DJUSHB home builders: -3.29%
RLX retail index: -2.08%

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  3:57:40 PM
Joe Kernen is right. Those Chinese Internet stocks are on the run again. SOHU is up 9.2% and breaking above its 50-dma. NTES is up 10.8% and breaking above its 200-dma. SINA is up 12.2% and breaking above its 50-dma.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:55:28 PM
Well, I'm guessing that we'll get the key reversal day on the OEX, but it's still touch-and-go. I note on the daily chart that this move today did not even tug RSI or 21(3)3 stochastics out of territory indicating overbought conditions. This "reversal" is still far from a done deal.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  3:55:04 PM
Computer storage devices/hard drive stocks are also seeing a strong day. MXO, WDC and ADIC all look tempting with the first two breaking above their 50-dma's today.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  3:51:48 PM
(es04h) ... questions regarding es04h settlement. Needs to get above 1,108.50 first. Here's same intra-day chart shown earlier, but now place 5-MRT on it. Link

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  3:51:14 PM
There doesn't appear to be any specific news driving the rally but shares of Juniper Networks (JNPR) have managed to keep their 5% gain today. Bulls bought the afternoon dip and volume is pretty strong at 12.7 million. If JNPR can break the $20 mark this could be a play.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  3:45:22 PM
The daily chart for Cabot Microelectronics (CCMP) appears to be showing yet another failed rally at the top of its declining channel (and key moving averages). This could be a bearish entry point and many traders are already short the stock (shares short is near 24% of the float). However, bears would do well to also note the weekly chart of CCMP. The stock is still above a rising trendline that stretches back to October 2002.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:39:00 PM
It's going to be touch-and-go as to whether we get the right numbers for a key reversal day on the OEX. The OEX has only to climb a little less than point above the current level in order to close above Wednesday's close. Unless it climbs a great distance, however, that daily candle is still going to be one type or another of a potential reversal signal. Of course, didn't we just get one of those on Tuesday? We're far from having explosive volume on the markets, though, although at 930 million and 1.4 billion respectively as of a few moments ago, the NYSE and Nasdaq volume has been decent for a holiday week.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  3:34:42 PM
Thor Industries (THO) looks like a put candidate. Shares have been unable to break their declining trend of lower highs since early November. The weakness today, while on low volume, has the MACD rolling over again. The stock does have support near $52.50 but I wouldn't be surprised to see it trade closer to the $50 level or even the 200-dma nearing $47.00.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  3:30:40 PM
Magna Intl (MGA) broke out of its four month wedge-like pattern this morning and has promptly reversed course. This failed-rally would certainly be frustrating for bulls trying to play the pattern but shares have not yet broken support at $80. A drop under the $77.50 level should be a breakdown through the bottom edge of the wedge. Bears could target the 200-dma near $72.50.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:29:46 PM
OEX Keltner channel lines are still chopped up by the missing data from earlier, but we can still look at this morning's gap and also at the 30- and 60-minute 21-pma's, at 551.02 and 549.83, as possible resistance levels.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  3:26:57 PM
PCAR, a common candidate on our watch list, appears to be slipping below its simple 10-dma. I wouldn't be surprised to see it test the $80 level, which is underpinned by its simple 50-dma. A bounce from $80 might be a bullish entry point. If it breaks $80 then we could see it test the 200-dma nearing $73.50.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:23:28 PM
Funny, Jonathan. (See Jonathan's 15:21 post.) I think the markets are unaccustomed to printing numbers or candles in red. They're especially unaccustomed to printing two red candles in a row, however, aren't they, so I'm not drawing too many conclusions about today.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:20:34 PM
I'm still holding onto my personal OEX put position. I'm more comfortable with wider stops than are some traders, and I had intended this for a one or two-week position, intending to add to it if the OEX instead climbed, sort of like Jim's approach sometimes with the DJX. I had intended stopping myself out if the OEX hit 554 or if my option price decreased by 30%. Both happened this morning in the immediate pop after the 10:00 economic number, but I elected not to stop out. This wasn't a choice I would have made with anyone else's money but my own, but I kept thinking that this would have been a point at which I would likely have entered a new bearish position, and I don't trust immediate reactions after such surprises. I could not pull the trigger to add to that position, however. My option price is currently right back where it was when I entered the position, and I'm happy with the possibility that we'll see a close that fits the key-reversal day type, but I could still get stopped out of this position, of course.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  3:13:47 PM
NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) 2,003.33 (unch) ... session low 2001.61.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  3:12:59 PM
QQQ $36.36 -0.27% ... sitting right at our new MONTHLY 38.2% retracement. Break of sessiion low ($36.31) would have WEEKLY R1 further in play.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  3:11:17 PM
03:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:08:57 PM
Indicators, especially the five-minute indicators, are going to be messed up for a while on the OEX so I can't give correct Keltner resistance, but this morning's gap level, from 550.78 to 551.08, should be considered first resistance, with resistance possibly offered by the top, middle, or bottom of that gap.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:06:48 PM
Q-charts and IB are now offering current OEX information.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:05:52 PM
Three different sources offer no current OEX information.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  3:04:56 PM
Thanks Linda I was wondering.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:04:00 PM
IB is announcing that options market data is not available.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  3:03:33 PM
Buy Program Prem. Alert SPX = 1,107.95

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:02:44 PM
Careful--we're not getting correct OEX feeds on many sources I'm checking.

 
 
  Jim Brown   1/2/2004,  3:01:48 PM
The A/D is only positive +450 issues after being as high as +2633 just a couple hours ago. The major indexes are all negative expect for the Russell at +4.42. TRIN has spiked along with the VXO but the VXO is easing somewhat now that the sell program has passed. Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  3:01:17 PM
Speaking of closes outside the Donchian channel, the Dow just closed the last 30-minute period below its 30-minute (20,2) Donchian channel. I haven't watched the Dow with respect to Donchian channels, so don't know how it acts in this instance, but this does pinpoint Dow weakness as compared to other indices, which haven't closed outside their Donchian channels.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:58:33 PM
The OEX now tests the 60-minute 21-pma, an average that has been a bounce point since 12/11. If the OEX should fall through this MA, the 30-minute Donchian channels pinpoint next support at 547.53. While the Donchian channels are sometimes penetrated on an intra-30-minute basis, it's rare to see a close outside them, and such a close would constitute a breakout to the downside. However, there was just such a close on 12/10, with the OEX soon finding its footing (next 30-minute candle) and climbing ever since. Nothing is guaranteed.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:57:18 PM
Sell Program Premium Alert 1,107.95 -0.35% ... first sell prog. prem. alert of the day.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:53:31 PM
Bank of America Securities (BAC) $79.01 .... sing news that BAC's Sucurities unit announcing it has received notification from the Enforcement Division of the SEC that the staff is considering recommending civil injunction action against BAC's Securities unit.

While no formal recommendation has been made, SEC staff alleges that BAC's Securities unit violated the books and records retention laws by improperly storing certain documents relevant to inquiry, and not producing the requested documents in a timely manner. These allegation arose out of an SEC inquiry that began more than 2 years ago into certain trading activities at the company's San Franciso, CA office.

 
 
  Jim Brown   1/2/2004,  2:52:19 PM
Nearly 1000 issues have been knocked off the A/D line in the last 10 min. There is some serious selling taking place but the Nasdaq and Russell remain positive.

Remember my repeated comments about funds rotating out of smal caps over the last month and into big caps for January liquidity? This is why. They can exit the big caps, and it appears they are doing so, without any real effort.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:49:44 PM
Key reversal day (Murphy, Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets): In an uptrend, this one day pattern occurs when prices open in new highs, and then close below the previous day's closing price. The wider the price range on the key reversal day and the heavier the volume, the greater the odds that a reversal is taking place.

I wrote Jonathan this morning that I sure would like to see a key reversal day, to restore my faith that markets sometimes work the way they're supposed to work, but I didn't really believe it was possible to see one. The OEX has to close below Wednesday's 550.78 for this to even begin to be considered a key reversal day. One problem is volume. I don't know that we'd have the kind of volume confirmation that's needed. In Pring's text, he mentions even stricter guidelines, including explosive volume and an early move that might cover as much ground as is usually covered in an entire day. The OEX's early move did cover as much as it now covers in a typical day, but then there's that whole volume thing.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:46:44 PM
Sector weakness has Homebuilders (DJUSHB) 571.52 -3.5%, S&P Retail Index (RLX.X) 372.97 -1.86% and S&P Banks (BIX.X) 339.52 -1.17% now lower by more than 1%.

BIX.X A/D breadth negative at 0:22 ASO -1.95%, ZION -1.95%, FBF -1.92%, BAC -1.85%, while MEL -0.09 shows intra-day relative strength vs. sector

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:42:24 PM
The OEX has broken slightly below the 30-minute 21-pma at 551.05 and hovers slightly above the 60-minute version at 549.91. Here we are at another make-it-or-break-it point for the OEX. While it's had some minor violations of the 30-minute version over the last weeks, with the last one being Wednesday, it's rarely violated the 60-minute version on a closing basis since December 11.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:40:49 PM
NASDAQ-100 Heatmap at this Link has A/D breadth just about even at 56:44 (15-minute delayed)

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:33:29 PM
QQQ $36.49 +0.12% ... back below its WEEKLY S2 here.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:32:37 PM
Like the others, I would have expected a bounce attempt, but Keltner resistance is now gathering so thickly just above current OEX levels that I'm not sure whether the OEX will stop before hitting 549-550, and I'm not sure a bounce will be successful when it comes. However, this is an impression coming from technical analysis only, and we know that technical analysis hasn't been the best predictor of either early morning or late afternoon action on the indices.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  2:31:57 PM
Jeff SIRI making a 21% move today.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:27:18 PM
The Wilshire 5000 is at a new day's low, but trying to bounce at the middle of the gap up this morning.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:24:39 PM
02:00 Internals at this Link

Noting abnormal number of NYSE new lows today. Has me thinking there is some tax strategy selling taking place, where bulls may be selling some of last year's losers, locking in the loss to offset some gains, that may also be taken in today's trade.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:24:34 PM
The OEX now nears the low of the day and the top of this morning's gap. So far, except for the blip up caused by this morning's economic release at 10:00, this day is following the pattern I warned about in my 9:36 post, when I warned that the OEX hadn't been that far extended outside the top of its Keltner channels since 12/15, a day when the OEX traded down all the rest of the day.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:20:42 PM
The OEX just hit the midline support of its widest Keltner channel, with this being a potential bounce point. Since the OEX extended so far outside the Keltner channel, to the upside, we would normally consider that it would probably be propelled all the way to the bottom of the Keltner channels, but it sure hasn't acted like an index being propelled anywhere to the downside, has it? That puts some doubt on that theory.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:10:14 PM
The OEX is at a new afternoon low, but the decline since about 12:15 looks suspiciously like a falling wedge on the five-minute chart--that's a bullish chart formation. There needs to be some real downside to undo that bullish possibility.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:08:49 PM
Buy/sell program tally so far today has been 18 buy program premium levels and zero sell program prem. levels. (based on 5-minute interval bar chart)

What this tells me, as regards to internals/price action, is we're seeing a lot of stock being crossed in the market. This puts some emphasis on today's highs, where if broken to the upside, there may be strong move higher.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  2:04:52 PM
E-mini S&P futures contract on intra-day basis, to tie in with 01:00 Update. Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  2:01:26 PM
The $TRAN has achieved a slightly higher high, but pulled back slightly and currently tests the 3035 level.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  1:57:13 PM
The longer OEX 552.50 holds as support, the more likely it is that the OEX will use that as a base from which to rise again.

 
 
  Jim Brown   1/2/2004,  1:47:41 PM
Recent earthquakes

Jan-02 Bali Indonesia 6.1
Jan-01 Mexico City, Acapulco 5.7
Dec-31 Taiwan 5.9
Dec-29 San Simeon CA 3.8
Dec-26 Bam Iran 6.8
Dec-25 Puerto Armuelles, Panama 6.1
Dec-22 Pasa Robles CA 6.5
Dec-10 Taiwan 6.6
Dec-9th Virginia/Washington 4.5

Sure seems to be a sudden sharp increase in activity.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  1:43:36 PM
We're in the middle of the usual stop-running period from 1:35-1:55. Lately, we've seen some days when nothing at all happens, however.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  1:40:49 PM
While some of the other indices have been consolidating or dropping, the $TRAN has been rising back toward its day's high. I keep wondering how strong a part the $TRAN will play in any pullback and/or continued climb as the $TRAN approaches and/or tests its 3050.40 intraweek high from March 2002. As I type, the $TRAN is at 3034.10 and rising. Today's high has been 3035.64. Remember that with DOW theory, we have to look at closing highs rather than intraday highs.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   1/2/2004,  1:40:34 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- KLA-Tencor (NASDAQ:KLAC)

Shares of KLAC appear to be building some downside momentum as the stock has fallen $1.20 to $57.34, despite mostly bullish activity in the technology segment. The recent "recovery" rally has put the issue within striking distance of a multi-year high near $60 but the overhead supply at that price has been formidable. Traders looking for a short-term (bearish) position in the semiconductor group might consider a JAN-$65/$60 call-credit spread.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  1:25:03 PM
OEX Keltner resistance now shows up at the current OEX level, at 553.26, and stronger at 554.14. Keltner support is near 552.60, but rising, at 551.83, and 551.42.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  1:24:48 PM
You know why Detroit has taken over the Fat City title don't you???. Detroit is the home of Mike Parnos and the seat of the "Couch Potato Trading Institute" of which I am a regular follower. "GO MIKE"

 
 
  Ray Cummins   1/2/2004,  1:21:09 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- Alaska Oil Shipments

James mentioned the shutdown of the Valdez oil terminal in Alaska and I can personally confirm that security was at a "heightened" level in that area during the past week. This morning, the trans-Alaska oil pipeline terminal reopened, allowing tankers to take on new loads of crude after waiting at sea for more than two days. The security was originally initiated in conjunction with the nation's move to a higher alert status and the Coast Guard closed the port on Tuesday, saying it was taking "prudent maritime security measures" in response to intelligence about possible terrorist threats. Thankfully, nothing unpleasant occurred but local residents were certainly surprised to see all the military activity in that small (and normally unexciting) fishing village.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  1:20:16 PM
The put to call ratio is finally back to neutral territory at .80, VXO 18.02.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  1:14:57 PM
on CNBC now... yet another flight, this one from Mexico, being cancelled due to security reasons.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  1:13:20 PM
Here's what I'm watching on the OEX five-minute chart: Link I don't really think it's a bull flag pullback, at least not a typical one, as it's not really a measured tight trend of lower highs and lower lows, but it's something to consider.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  1:12:21 PM
01:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  1:11:43 PM
Just another reason to follow through on your New Year's Resolution to lose weight. Just say no to french fries.

Concerns over mad cow disease have now spread to potatoes, specifically french fries that have been pre-fired in beef tallow. One news source is saying $500,000 worth of the frozen fries (about 2.4 million pounds) is currently stuck in various ports here and abroad as officials decide what to do.

"Experts" say there is no evidence that beef tallow can transmit the disease.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   1/2/2004,  1:06:13 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- Gen Probe (NASDAQ:GPRO)

One of our new picks in the bullish portfolio is enjoying upside activity on the first trading day of 2004. GPRO shares are up $0.80 at $37.27 after the FDA announced it has granted marketing clearance for sexually transmitted disease testing on the company's Tigris DTS System, a fully automated instrument for the molecular diagnostics market. The company says this unique system will reduce labor costs, minimize testing errors, improve operator ergonomics and increase laboratory productivity. Investors love that kind of optimism and they pushed the stock to a new "all-time" high earlier in the session. Traders who are interested in a short-term (bullish) position might consider a JAN-$30/$35 put-credit spread.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  1:02:54 PM
Jonathan mentioned earlier that the Keltner channels were starting to roll over, and that's true of the OEX, too. I mentioned this morning to be careful because the OEX seldom broke that far out of its Keltner channels without then retracing. The last time it had occurred, the OEX had traded down the rest of the day. We'll see if that's what we see at the end of today's trading. Having the shortest-term Keltner channel roll down back inside the two wider ones means that we start to see Keltner resistance lines above current price. Right now, they're not clumping together yet, so not predicting strong resistance, but looking as if they may do so somewhere between 554.15-554.35.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  1:01:36 PM
NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Shares of global banking firms Citigroup and HSBC both hit new 52-week highs on Friday following news they're the first foreign banks to be approved to issue credit cards in China.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  12:58:54 PM
The advdec line continues to drift down, but still remains at strongly positive numbers, up 1843 issues.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  12:58:53 PM
An interesting FYI: Yesterday Reuters reported that the U.S. has halted oil shipments from Alaska for two days due to security concerns. The halt began on Tuesday and was lifted yesterday.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   1/2/2004,  12:56:47 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- Ceradyne (NASDAQ:CRDN)

Among the more surprising upside movers today is CRDN. Shares of the maker of advanced ceramic products are up $1.52 at $35.48, despite a lack of any public news to explain the activity. With no apparent catalyst, the move may simply be a technical bounce as the issue has endured substantial selling pressure since early December, when the stock was trading near $45. Our bearish "premium-selling" position (short calls) at $40 seems comfortable for now but the issue is occasionally volatile and could easily cover that distance in two weeks. With that fact in mind, participants are encouraged to monitor the stock regularly in the coming sessions.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  12:52:52 PM
For the first time outside experts have been allowed to visit since Pyongyang expelled United Nations monitors at the end of 2002, North Korea has invited a U.S. delegation from outside the Bush administration to visit its main nuclear complex next week. The delegation is made up of Sig Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Jack Pritchard, a former State Department official, and Frank Januzzi, a senior aide to Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  12:47:12 PM
The OEX has now drifted back down to the ascending trendline off the 12/10 low, a trendline that it's been weaving itself around ever since. I noticed this morning that the OEX was, at its highest, almost 15 points away from its 60-minute 100-pma, very extended as it doesn't usually move this far away.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  12:42:52 PM
Ray mentioned Netflix (NFLX) earlier this morning in the premium-selling section. Giving the stock a lift is news that NFLX ended its fourth quarter with 1,487,000 subscribers. This is a 74% jump from a year ago and up 15% from the previous quarter. Shares are currently up 2.1% to $55.85.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  12:36:49 PM
There was an interesting article this morning about British Airways (BAB) canceling one of its London to Washington DC flights today for "security reasons". Evidently, this was the second time in two days for BAB to cancel this daily flight (one of three) from London to DC. The same flight on Wednesday was escorted into Dulles Intl Airport by U.S. fighter jets.

Despite this news the XAL airlines index is up today as investors breathe a sigh of relief that nothing happened over the holidays.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  12:36:37 PM
As of a few minutes ago, the volume patterns remained bullish, with adv:dec ratios at 20:11 for the NYSE and 20:10 for the Nasdaq. That's not too far off earlier proportions. Up volume measures 2.2 times down volume on the NYSE, lower than the 3+ proportion from earlier, but is still 3.3 times down volume on the Nasdaq. Total volume was 527 million on the NYSE and 814 million on the Nasdaq--decent volume on the Nasdaq. I'm watching for a change in the tenor of those volume patterns, but so far it isn't happening. These are delayed numbers, however, unlike advdec on Q-charts.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  12:34:26 PM
S&P Banks Index (BIX.X) list of components, sorted by % decline. Link

 
 
  Ray Cummins   1/2/2004,  12:30:18 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR)

One of our recent synthetic positions moved into "profitable" territory today. Shares of UTHR are trading $0.55 higher at $23.50 and the issue appears likely to test 2003 highs (near $24) in the coming weeks. Our suggested position in the stock is: long MAY-$30 calls/short MAY-$17.50 puts, for a small credit. Traders who like the outlook for the company can speculate favorably on the potential upside in the issue with that "synthetic long" combination.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  12:29:27 PM
FNB Corp. (NYSE:FNB) $19.38 -45% ... will have to look into this bank to see if it is component of BIX.X or BKX.X, but company did spin-off of its Florida-based First National Bankshares of Florida (NYSE:FLB) $18.95 today.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  12:28:49 PM
Bullish, Jim! The fed will intervene. And, did anyone see that C has gained clearance to distribute credit cards in China? Next will be to discover alien life to add their debt to the pool, allowing the next wave of expansion to the money supply- this is the true goal (and need) of fractional reserve banking.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  12:25:00 PM
On Wednesday shares of AmerisourceBergen (ABC) were hammered for a substantial loss after they announced the loss of a $3 billion/year contract with the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. The sell-off continues today with another 4% drop but the stock is currently holding above its late September support near $52.50. Aggressive traders might see a dead cat bounce but watch the $55 level, which should be new resistance.

FYI: ABC's rival MCK will pick up the drug distribution contract with the Dept. of Veteran Affairs.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  12:22:32 PM
Jeff (12:15 post) BETA has been making new lows all day while the TRIN stays bullish, indicators diverging from one another. ES, NQ and YM are now making new lows so the BETA seems to be the better indicator today.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  12:21:55 PM
S&P Banks Index (BIX.X) 341.31 -0.64% ... notably weak. While losses aren't overly large, this begins to be a drag on SPX/OEX in my opinion.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  12:20:44 PM
The OEX just hit the 552.73 level that I was watching for as a possible neckline for a H&S on its five-minute chart earlier this morning, but like the Wilshire, the head on that formation is now way too big in proportion to the single shoulder already formed. That doesn't mean that the OEX won't find support here, however, and try to rise. I will look for such a rise to be topped just below 554, though, where a smaller H&S did form along a neckline there, at the top of today's rise.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  12:18:15 PM
Telecommunication stocks are enjoying a strong session this Friday. The positive ISM report appears to have given investors new optimism and there is a herd of traders buying shares of Lucent (LU). LU is up more than 7% and breaking out above its simple 50-dma, the $3.00 mark, and a descending trend of lower highs. Today's rally has also produced a bullish MACD buy signal for the stock. Its next level of resistance should be $3.25.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  12:18:04 PM
Now the TMW finally does reach down to and past the 10,830 minimum downside level predicted by the confirmed double top. I'm no longer watching for a possible H&S on that chart, however, both because the Wilshire has dropped below that level, all the way to 10823.70 as I type, and also because the head is too big in relationship to the single shoulder already formed.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  12:17:21 PM
The p/c ratio drops to .84 here, VXO 18.02.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   1/2/2004,  12:16:59 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- Faro Technologies (NASDAQ:FARO)

Another issue worth noting for bullish players is FARO. The stock is up $1.26 at $26.24 on anticipation of a strong fourth quarter report. Traders are also confident in the company's fundamental outlook due to the improving US manufacturing sector and the growth potential in the Asian/Pacific region. At worst, business appears to be "stable-to-improving" for this unique company and the technical indications suggest additional upside activity for its shares in the near-term. Our suggested (short put) position at $22.50 in January might be available on a brief pull-back and the February options also offer a favorable cost basis for a longer-term play.

 
 
  James Brown   1/2/2004,  12:15:34 PM
Contributing to the GHA hardware index's 1.5% gain today is a 4.2% jump in chip stock Adaptec (ADPT). There doesn't seem to be any specific news for ADPT's jump today but shares have been churning sideways between $8.00 and $9.25 for nearly three months.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  12:15:21 PM
Jane on Wednesday, some of your indicators were making note of bullish divergence. They seemed to work well for today's gains. How are they doing today?

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  12:09:26 PM
Keltner support for the OEX is now at 553.75, a level from which the OEX bounced during the last five-minute candle. Let's see if it holds this time. This pullback on the five-minute chart could still be a bull-flag pullback, but all these bullish signs I'm seeing are being tempered by the knowledge of the strong resistance a few points overhead. Sometime or other, that's going to be important.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  12:09:23 PM
12:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  12:00:25 PM
The 30-minute OEX chart shows an index that's been consolidating while CCI moves down. Consolidation while an oscillators moves down is a bullish action, because instead of the expected pullback, the underlying held steady. However, the hourly chart mixes up the picture somewhat, because the hourly candles all have upper shadows and the hourly oscillators are only now beginning to look as if they want to flatten or roll down. I honestly see great potential for the OEX to be swept up to either 556-557 or 560, but I honestly expect those to be tough, tough levels that should precipitate some profit-taking. Of course, maybe they will only precipitate protective put-buying instead.

 
 
  Ray Cummins   1/2/2004,  12:00:09 PM
Spreads/Combos/Premium Selling -- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX)

One of the more popular issues for "premium-sellers" in 2003 was Netflix and today the stock is back on the track with a rally to recent highs near $58. Most of our positions are in the mid-40s, however traders might consider a bullish (short put or put-credit spread) play at the $50 strike in January as there are only two weeks until expiration.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  11:42:54 AM
The TMW's five-minute chart pattern has now resolved into a possible bullish right triangle with a flat top at 10,866. It did not meet the minimum downside target predicted by its confirmed double top, so is showing bullish characteristics as it approaches resistance. The $TRAN also holds support but is consolidating in a rectangular pattern just below its own multi-year resistance less than 20 points away.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  11:39:06 AM
Dow Industrials (INDU) 5-minute interval chart of INDU, with observations focused at our newly added bullish regression channel and WEEKLY R2 trade action. Link

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  11:37:07 AM
The put to call ratio is dropping almost as fast as ten year bonds, down to .88 from its opening at 1.29. The VXO is down to 17.80, so it looks like the options market is falling all over itself to get positioned bullishly.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  11:30:34 AM
QQQ observations ... I don't think I've ever see this type of lack of volume on an intra-day basis in the Q's. Link

What is alarming is that volume dried up just as Q's reached morning low, where I would have thought they might backfill their gap higher.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  11:28:39 AM
Next Keltner support on the OEX lies just below the current 553.93 level, near 553.75, but then spreads out thinly after that, suggested that if the OEX keeps dropping now, it could drop down toward 550 without much to impede it. There's still candlestick support at 552, however, and I don't much believe in breakdowns these days. (Grin.) For example, the Wilshire has not yet shown much inclination to touch its minimal downside target of 10,830 predicted by the confirmed double top. That pattern on the five-minute Wilshire chart (and OEX) could be a "b" distribution pattern, however. We'll see.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  11:16:29 AM
Although the OEX reached a new daily high, the $TMW, the Wilshire 5000, did not. It reached an equal high on the five-minute chart, and has just confirmed that double top, dropping below the trough between the two peaks. That predicts a fall on the Wilshire down toward 10,830, which could be a possible neckline area for a H&S formation on that five-minute chart. The Wilshire now sits on Keltner support, however, so it's unclear whether it will continue dropping toward the downside target predicted by its double-top.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  11:08:32 AM
11:00 Internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  11:07:13 AM
Volume patterns show adv/dec ratios at 20:10 for the NYSE and 19:9 for the Nasdaq, as of a few minutes ago. Up volume was 3.2 times down volume on the NYSE and 3.6 times down volume on the Nasdaq. There's certain nothing bearish about those volume patterns, and new highs were also strong at 487 with 13 new lows. Total volume was only 293 million on the NYSE but was a stronger 486 million on the Nasdaq. The advdec line has been drifting slowly down since about 10:00, but remains strongly positive.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  11:00:08 AM
We just hit another new day's high on the OEX, but it's hesitating just below that new high, at least as I type. The last several five-minute candles have had opens, closes, highs, or lows at the bullish #5 based on a 2MRT system, giving that level some validity. That level is at 554.57. The bullish #6 is at 555.39. I'm just not sure about further advances and how far they could carry. Look for resistance at 556-557 and again at 560, with the 560 level the strongest resistance the OEX has faced in a long while.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  10:59:26 AM
Equity funds report net cash inflows totaling $1.6 billion in the four-day week ended December 30th with 55% going to Domestic funds, according to the latest data from AMGdata.com.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  10:53:59 AM
The Investor Sentiment readings for the percentage of bulls was unchanged at 58.3% the week ended December 26th, while the Investor Sentiment readings for bears remained at 19.4%. There is a high inverse correlation between investor sentiment and the stock market. A highly bullish poll usually precedes a sell-off, whereas a highly bearish poll tends to precede a rally.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:52:07 AM
Keltner support is beginning to spread out now, not offering as firm as base as it did earlier today. Usually when that happens, the OEX can move more easily through the various support levels, but that's not always true, of course. Any one of them could catch the OEX should it pull back further.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:46:59 AM
The TRAN today makes another push for the 3050.40 intraweek high from early March, 2002, with the $TRAN currently at 3032.85. We're seeing a lot of "either/or" points approached today and early this week.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:45:34 AM
At 10,859.92 as I type, the Wilshire 5000 today approaches 11,000, resistance that has held since August, 2001. The Wilshire's weekly chart takes on the appearance of a rounding bottom, with a pullback to form a handle of a cup-and-handle formation a typical occurrence as the "lip" level is approached. That doesn't always happen, of course.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  10:42:31 AM
CBOE Internet Index (INX.X) 170.14 +1.61% ... session high and triggering upside alert I had set here at 170, which is just above a relative high of 11/04/03. This looks to have the 52-week high of 174.74 in play. Bar chartists will note all the closes in mid-October at this level. Much strength above current level could indicate MARKET showing more aggressive buying in what I consider a more "speculative" sector. Not just bullish buying either, but BEARISH short-covering.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  10:39:44 AM
QQQ $36.70 +0.57% .... session low/high so far has been $36.62-$36.79. Volume has slowed to a trickle and suggests to me there just aren't any sellers and there should be little upside resistance at this point to the MONTHLY R1.

I take different approach to volume interpretation than some. During holiday stretch, volumes were light, but PRICE ACTION was higher. Now that traders return, the path of least resistance seems to be higher (at least to me).

Those that went home short the QQQ, and we know from short interest at record level high there were a lot of bears that did take holiday off short, should see volume support building.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:39:13 AM
The current pullback on the OEX five-minute chart could be nothing more than a bull flag pullback. Time will tell, but the post-ISM flagpole rally has a midpoint at about 553.81, so the OEX shouldn't fall below that before breaking to the upside again if this is just a bull flag pullback. It may be beginning to break to the upside as I type, but I'd wait for a new day's high for confirmation.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  10:35:56 AM
P/c ratio down to 1.13.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  10:28:08 AM
Dow Industrials (INDU) 10,513.92 +0.57% .... session high has been 10,526.81, which is well above today's DAILY R2 of 10,496.53.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:26:58 AM
I'm watching now for the possibility that the OEX could retreat back to the bullish #2 on the 2MRT system at 552.73, then rise toward 553.75 again. This is a setup for a possible H&S, although I have to look at a two-minute OEX chart to find MACD evidence to support such a possible scenario.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  10:23:55 AM
Sector gains across the board with only the Dow Jones Home Construction (DJUSHB) 588.29 -0.69%, Oil Service (OSX.X) 93.87 -0.08% and S&P Banks (BIX.X) 343.34 -0.04% lower.

Gainers have Disk Drive (DDX.X) 127.44 +1.96%, Airline (XAL.X) 62.39 +1.66%, Networking (NWX.X) 255.10 +1.47%, Internet (INX.X) 169.89 +1.46%

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  10:23:31 AM
DOW ratio is 29:1, sure looks strong to me. However, BETA is challenging daily lows but so is the TRIN.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:20:00 AM
I've been watching the OEX based on a 2MRT system today, and there was good correlation with pre-ISM action. The first two-minute range was from 551.08 to 551.90. That put the bullish #2 near 552.73. The OEX charged above that, went to the bullish #4 where it found resistance, retreated back to the bullish #2 to await ISM, and then charged up again. It's now testing the bullish #5 at 554.55, so once again today has been a day when that MRT system has worked well, as long as the right levels are keyed in, so now we can watch to see when or if something appears to go wrong. I used the first two minutes since the first five-minute range was so large.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  10:17:29 AM
10:00 Internals at this Link

Wednesday's internals at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:13:35 AM
This morning, I posted a chart that showed that it looked as if the OEX wanted to climb toward 556. The 60-minute 1.35% channel also crosses near 556, at 555.93 and the rising daily Bollinger band crosses now at 556.59. The OEX often follows a rising Bollinger band up, just as it's been doing since early in December, so we can't consider that an upper boundary, but it does show the correlation with this 556 number across several methods of studying charts. I just can't get past the importance of 560, however, thinking of it both as a price magnet and strong resistance, and wondering where profit taking might begin ahead of 560.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  10:12:26 AM
The first put to call reading of the day was 1.21, VXO back below 18 at 17.93. The high p/c ratio is also following the trend from Wednesday, and so far is fulfilling its bullish expectations.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  10:09:55 AM
The ISM Index rose to 62.8 in November, a strong increase over October's 57.0, which broke the 60 mark for the first time since 1987. The December ISM index exceeded expectations, rising to 66.2. Both the new order and production indices rose above the 70 mark, and the employment index remained above 50 for the second straight month. This index has been above 50 for six straight months now.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  10:07:10 AM
Ciber Inc. (CBR) $9.25 +6.81% ... here's my bar chart of CBR. Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  10:03:26 AM
Strongest OEX Keltner support has now risen to 551.90-552, joining candlestick support near 552.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  9:59:44 AM
New daily high on the OEX, above 554.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  9:59:12 AM
Buy/Sell Program Prem. Levels ... HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $-0.68 and selling at $-2.28.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  9:58:35 AM
ISM 66.2

 
 
  Jim Brown   1/2/2004,  9:58:32 AM
ISM = 66.2 compared to estimates of 61.0

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  9:58:03 AM
We have weekend repo of 9.5B just announced, and I managed to find an older long term repo of 10B that expires today, bringing the day total to a 3.5B net drain.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  9:55:13 AM
The Nasdaq TRINQ is falling into very bullish territory and the NYSE TRIN is rising into neutral at 0.88. This is this saying the NASDAQ is the stronger market this morning. The first hour markers should help confirm this observation.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  9:50:12 AM
In normal times, I would have suggested that a move up to OEX 553-554 in early trading was an ideal setup for a pop-and-drop day, but these aren't normal times, and I'm really not certain of that today.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  9:48:22 AM
Here is a definition of the ISM index to be released at 10:00ET. "The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) releases a monthly composite index based on surveys of 300 purchasing managers nationwide representing 20 industries regarding manufacturing activity. Index values above 50 indicate an expanding economy, while values below 50 are indicative of contraction." Financial markets are extremely sensitive to changes in this index and is perceived as a good indicator of inflation.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  9:46:14 AM
The fed's 9B 4-day repo expires today and was just replaced with a 6B 13-day repo. We await the 10 AM announcement to see whether the fed will be content to let 3B net in intervention money drain away.

 
 
  Jim Brown   1/2/2004,  9:44:47 AM
You and many others have been talking about the upward push the markets should get from the billions in retirement cash coming into funds in the next few days. I don't understand why any fund would put that money into stocks right now, which appears to be very close to a market top. Why wouldn't they wait for the expected pullback to put these funds into the market?

I agree it sounds crazy however most funds do not market time. Especially index funds. They simply mimic the indexes by investing the cash the day they get it. With the year end retirement cash flow the largest quarterly infusion of the year this provides the funding for the normal bounce the first couple days of the year. This liquidity wave provides an opportunity for those funds that do time or those that want to take profits to do so without much market impact. Once the fund flows begin to fade around the 5th of January the selling impact increases. Since this January bounce is a known trend those funds living on the edge wait for the bounce to milk the last drop of profit before closing positions.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  9:44:13 AM
We await the ISM in 15 minutes, with estimates ranging from 59-61.5, concensus for 61.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  9:42:44 AM
Ciber Inc. (CBR) $9.15 +5.65% Link .... Stock lagged the broader market move higher in December after massive gain from July-August. Edging above a starting to flatten out 50-day SMA and may be a NYSE-listed stock that sees some renewed bullish rotation.

Will follow with bar chart, as near-term resistance may be marked by a downward trend taken from the 11/04/03 relative high of $9.70 to 11/24/03 relative high of $9.55. Extension of this trend looks to be at approx. $9.25.

MONTHLY Pivot Analysis levels... $7.59, $8.12, $8.76, $9.29, $9.93.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  9:42:30 AM
With the OEX in uncharted waters--at least as concerning recent trading patterns--let's look as the places where the Keltner channels show support gathering. The first is at 552.78, but that's light support, with stronger support between 551.10-551.52. Then there's candlestick support near 552, at the midpoint of this morning's big white first five-minute candle.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  9:38:14 AM
Per Jonathan's 09:21:00 .... is this going to give earnings a boost at company's that offer free coffee service to their employees? I'd never thought of that!

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  9:36:28 AM
Beware of buying here. I've seen only one time recently when the OEX broke out of its nested Keltner channels to such a degree, on the 12/15 first five-minute candle. The rest of the day saw the OEX move down that day. I'm not saying that's going to happen today, but only noting the similarity on this one basis only.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  9:34:28 AM
E-mini futures chart at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  9:33:37 AM
During the first five minutes of trading, the OEX moved through a range from 551.08 to 553, bringing the OEX all the way up into the next strong resistance level. The midpoint of that range lies at 552.04, and the OEX is currently above that midpoint, indicating strength in earliest trading. We are not yet in the first retracement period, however, and we should possibly also be paying attention to this morning's gap level as well as to the midpoint of the first five-minute candle.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  9:30:59 AM
QQQ $36.69 +0.63% .... Swing trade bull alert ... will raise stop in our swing trade bull trade to $36.17, and raise target to $37.25.

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  9:29:55 AM
I just read an article in the WSJ asking if this is a bull cyclical market or are we starting a secular bull. If this is the start of a secular bull, the secular bear we just finished will have been the shortest one in the history of the market. I'm not saying it can't be but I really doubt it. Here is a table of the secular market for the last 75 years:

1929-1949 - bear secular - 20 years
1949-1966 - bull secular - 17 years
1966-1982 - bear secular - 16 years
1982-2000 - bull secular - 18 years

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  9:24:47 AM
Unless the OEX gets slapped down pretty quickly early this week, I think it's going to drive right up to the 560 level that represents a 38.2% retracement of the bear-market decline. That would be a natural point at which I'd expect to see a sizeable pullback, but there have been other natural points at which I expected pullbacks and they haven't occurred there. One thing that might precipitate such a pullback or even start it ahead of 560 is the fact that I'm not the only person who can snap a retracement tool on a chart. Others know the significance of that level, too, and might want out of composite stocks early, and might pick the known 553-554 S/R level as a place to begin the profit-taking. We'll just have to see.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/2/2004,  9:13:06 AM
09:00 Update at this Link

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  9:10:07 AM
Ever heard of the corrective fan principle? Here's an OEX chart with an explanation, using a type of pitchfan tool to pick out the various trendlines: Link It sure doesn't look as if it's holding true this time, but we've come to expect that, haven't we?

 
 
  Jane Fox   1/2/2004,  9:07:30 AM
54 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal believe the U.S. unemployment rate will fall to 5.5% by November, which could translate into more than 1.5 million new jobs. Although the 5.5% unemployment rate is above the 3.8% rate our economy enjoyed in April 2000, it would represent a notable decline from the 6.4% level reached last summer. This is good news for the economy in that the momentum of the second half of 2003 will not be derailed and will run deep enough to trigger meaningful gains in employment and business spending. The consensus also forecasted the GDP to grow at an annual rate of 4.5% in the first quarter, 4.3% in the second quarter and 4% in the second half of the year.

 
 
  Jonathan Levinson   1/2/2004,  8:27:08 AM
Happy New Year. The term "relief rallies" has bothered me for a while... Did the market have a selloff of any type over the last few weeks that I did not know about? If I look over the charts and think about the possible terrorist acts I don't see any fear of the event. Does this relief rally imply that prices would have been alot higher without the terror threat? Who was willing to keep buying holding their nose? Since I can't seem to find anyone selling and everybody buying what kind of relief is there? See... we have started the year with something that has some basis but makes no sense in the bigger picture... Just set me straight so that I know I'm not crazy...

For the little it's worth, I agree. The obvious reply is that there were those who shorted (ie p/c ratios above 1.20 all Wednesday afternoon) and those who deferred going long out of fear of event risk. My parents, for instance, were suprised when the markets did not rally the day Sodamn Insane was "captured", but couldn't explain what he had to do with the markets either way. Whether this premarket low-volume pop goes anywhere higher is left to be seen, but for the moment, traders don't appear to be in a selling mood.

 
 
  Linda Piazza   1/2/2004,  6:31:55 AM
Good morning and Happy New Year. Although the Nikkei and a couple of other Asian bourses remained closed for the holiday, most other Asian bourses were open and traded higher, some sharply higher. Although news reports yesterday centered on flights that had been cancelled due to possible terrorist threats, most markets reacted positively to the lack of any actual terrorist event outside Iraq. Investor enthusiasm carried South Korean steelmaker Posco higher despite an earnings report that revealed profit that came in significantly below a Reuters forecast. Troubled LG Card traded limit up with some speculating that state-run Korea Development Bank will participate in the rescue plan being devised by creditors. Hyundai Motor was another gainer in Korea after the company released an upbeat sales outlook for 2004. In many markets in the region, financial and banking stocks, semiconductor stocks, and economically sensitive stocks generally performed well. Samsung Electronics was one exception, dropping 0.4%.

The Taiwan Weighted gained 2.56% and South Korea's Kospi gained 1.30%. Singapore's Straits Times gained 1.52% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.79%. China's Shanghai Composite climbed 1.35%.

Boosted by strong performances in Asia and a positive economic number in the U.K. this morning and ignoring disappointing holiday retail sales by at least one retailer, most European bourses currently trade higher, too. Some remain closed for the holiday. In the U.K., the December purchasing managers' index rose to a greater-than-expected 56 from November's 54.7, adding to the belief that the world economy's growth is on track. In the U.K., retailers were mixed after WH Smith reported flat same-store sales and a slimmer gross margin. In company-specific news, HSBC rose in early trading after Wednesday's announcement that it and Citigroup were the first foreign banks to be allowed to issue credit cards in China. Also, despite cancelled British Airways flights over the holiday, British Airway was up in early trading.

As of this writing, the FTSE 100 has gained 23.20 points or 0.52%, to trade at 4500.10. The CAC 40 has gained 17.39 points or 0.49%, to trade at 3575.29. The DAX has gained 38.29 points or 0.97%, to trade at 4003.45. All three are trading near their day's highs, having steadied near those levels ahead of the opening of U.S. markets.

 
 
  Jeff Bailey   1/1/2004,  10:36:22 PM
S&P 100 Index (OEX.X) with new MONTHLY pivots at this Link

 
 
  OI Technical Staff   1/1/2004,  8:11:18 PM
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  OI Technical Staff   1/1/2004,  8:09:12 PM
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