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Jeff Bailey : 3/5/2005 12:03:16 AM

Dow Diamonds (DIA) most active options at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:54:22 PM

Friday's Closing Market Watch at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:35:45 PM

Friday's Closing Internals at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:17:44 PM

Pivot Matrix for next week at this Link

OI Technical Staff : 3/4/2005 9:59:59 PM

The Market Monitor has been archived. You may view it and any previous days here: Link

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Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 4:55:23 PM

Current OPEN MM Profiles that I've made at this Link Today's Activity .... Sold 1/2 of yesterday's bullish day trade in Stillwater Mining (SWC) at the bid of $11.70. ($+0.69, or +6.27%). Now carrying the other 1/2 as a swing trading with stop at $11.50. Closed out the swing trade bearish puts and the two (2) Dow Diamonds DIA Apr. $106 Puts (DIA-PB) at the bid of $0.50. ($-0.65, or -56.52%). Day traded long shares of Payless Shoe (PSS) at $14.17, but closed out at $14.13. ($-0.04, or -0.28%) Weekly Trade Blotter of CLOSED trades at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 4:31:51 PM

Linda ... just seeing your 10:35:55 from this morning. Sometimes you just never know. When that alert on Palladium went off yesterday, saw PAL on the move and SWC just sitting there, I thought it worth a shot. Couldn't believe it this morning when SWC still ticked at $11.05 at the open. Then.... Boom! Almost caught the options market maker sleeping (or so I thought) when the offer was $1.65, but missed it by a matter of seconds.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 4:04:47 PM

Buy Program Premium ... DIA $109.42, SPY $122.64.

Marc Eckelberry : 3/4/2005 3:57:40 PM

Wild day, Jeff.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 3:57:02 PM

Support thins under the current OEX position on the 15-minute chart, as it's set up going into the close.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:56:48 PM

Marc ... I thought "I" was getting a deal when I exited puts today on the higher volatility!

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:52:35 PM

North American Palladium (PAL) $8.60 +8.04% ...

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:52:09 PM

Stillwater Mining (SWC) $12.00 +11.11% .

Marc Eckelberry : 3/4/2005 3:51:59 PM

There is a solid entry on those DIA April 109 puts, now at 1.45. The volatilty has dropped to extremes again. We got in at 1.50, and even that will be a steal when VIX rises and we retest 10850. Target is monthly pivot of 10703, a gorgeous option trade setting up.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:51:46 PM

March Palladium (pa05h) settled up $10.20 or 5.15% at $208.50. June Palladium (pa05m) settled up $10.20, or 5.10% at $210.05.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 3:49:21 PM

Those in the market today need to be making plans as to whether they'll hold over the weekend. I think if I were sitting on big bullish gains, I'd be likely to take the profit and see what happened Monday. I've been thinking about the Nikkei and what might happen there. The Nikkei is getting ever closer to 12,000. Several economic reports are due Monday, but household spending on Tuesday looks more important than those numbers. Depending on what happens into the close here, I'm wondering if the Nikkei might try for a push higher on Monday. It's already at a winning streak that not been seen since January, 2001. I guess I'm wondering whether there might be an attempt to push higher, but with some uncertainty as to whether the push will be sustained with those household spending numbers coming the next day. If it is, it's possible that we could get some positive follow through early Monday morning, but I'm just thinking that it's going to be safer to take bullish profits, wait it out and see what happens Monday morning.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:44:37 PM

Bullish day trade exit alert for Payless Shoe (PSS) $14.13 here.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 3:44:31 PM

QQQQ chart update on the 7200 tick SMA break: Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 3:41:54 PM

The Congressional Budget Office today has released its analysis of President Bush's 2006 budget plan. For 2005, the CBO believes that a $394 billion gap will rank at about 3.2% of the GDP, with the gap down from last year's record number. For 2006, the CBO approximates a gap of $332 billion, but President Bush's request did not include funds that would pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, so presumably that's not the whole story as far as the gap goes. If requests for funding for those military operations stayed steady at the amounts requested for 2005, the gap would rise to about $370-375 billion, which is projected to be about 2.9% of the GDP.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 3:36:21 PM

QQQQ is chopping sideways in an uneasy equilibrium, with the short cycle oscillators now perfectly neutral, the 30 min cycle oscillators pointed south, the 60 min pointed north and the daily stalled. Link No wonder the volume's fallen off. The only way out of this mire is a range break- 37.45-37.75 still looks like the key, with first sign of trouble for the bulls a break below 37.55, for the bears above 37.65.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 3:28:48 PM

Upper Keltner resistance on the OEX's 15-minute Keltner chart is now from 584.46-584.72, on a 15-minute closing basis. Bulls should have hard stops in place as they follow the OEX higher with their stops.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 3:22:03 PM

Like the writers on the Futures side, I'm stumped by this big gain while the Nasdaq prints a small-bodied candle under its 50-dma.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 3:21:07 PM

Been studying the Dow and TRAN's monthly charts. If Dow theory depends on a monthly closes (different sources have different things to say about that), the TRAN has already reached a new monthly closing high, in December. The Dow has not.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:19:48 PM

03:00 Internals at this Link

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 3:12:29 PM

Nymex crude closed higher by 15 cents at 53.275, with TNX closing lower by 7.3 bps at 4.31%. There's a big divergence between gains in the bond and stock markets and the Fed's large repo drain today- my guess would be support from foreign central banks fueling these rises, which would also explain the strength of the blue chips over the Nasdaq today. A large drain from the Fed would ordinarily weigh on the markets.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 3:10:23 PM

Another potential H&S on the advdec line. These haven't been panning out to well lately, but they did pay to watch previously.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:09:23 PM

Bullish day trade go long alert for shares of Payless Shoe (PSS) $14.17 here, limit $14.20, stop $14.10, target $14.45 by the close. Watch your volume!

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 3:02:27 PM

03:00 Market Watch at this Link

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 2:58:13 PM

Volume has trailed off considerably with QQQQ holding just above the 7200 tick SMA. While the SPX and Dow were breaking to new highs, QQQQ was failing below this morning's peak. One would think that the roles would be reversed given the strength in oil, but such is not the case. While QQQQ's failure looks and feels bearish, the bullish view will focus on the consolidation near the highs- setting up this chop zone as a continuation pennant off yesterday's lows. If so, then a break above 37.75 could be explosive. A move below 37.45 would invalidate it, while this sideways chop through the apex is more of a blender than anything else. This 30 cent range coincides with the bounds of the sideways 60 min cycle channel.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:53:52 PM

Nearest Keltner resistance for the OEX, according to the 15-minute chart, lies at 584.39-584.65. Nearest Keltner support lies at 583.60-582.81.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 2:52:12 PM

Bullish day trade cancel alert ... for Payless Shoe (PSS) $14.15 +1.07% ... (see setup at 11:54:31 and chart at 12:01:51)

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 2:48:02 PM

Morgan Stanley (MWD) $58.80 +3.28% ... nice move from two-week base.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 2:46:25 PM

Somebody's been doing some crunch'n in those AL Jun $40 Calls (303:1,372)

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:45:29 PM

We have the Dow and the TRAN both above their December highs, perhaps headed for a corroboration of each other's gains, although Dow theory depends on closes and not intraday moves. I've also heard/read variously that it depends on daily, weekly and monthly closes. Today will qualify for two of the three if both indices produce a higher daily and weekly close. The TRAN's December daily closing high was 3811.62 and weekly was 3798.05. The Dow's December daily closing high has been 10,854.54 and weekly was last week's 10,841.60.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 2:41:25 PM

Good Gravy! ..... Just looked a the Alcan (AL) $40.84 +3.70% daily interval bar chart. Bugger is breaking into its gap from a reverse head/shoulder! Link Pattern objective would be $44.70.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:38:50 PM

The Nasdaq is certainly the fly in the market's bullish ointment, isn't it? Still below the 50-dma.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 2:34:47 PM

QQQQ just bounced off the 7200 tick SMA, now acting as support at 37.57. The short cycle upphase is chopping its way higher, with price hugging the midpoint of the juxtaposed 30 and 60 min cycle channels.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:33:57 PM

GE well above its 50-dma and bulls want it to stay there, but it hasn't yet invalidated its H&S on the daily chart. The right shoulder is becoming a bit elongated, however. MER is still above its 12/15 high. The BIX is still at the top of its recent consolidation zone, testing the 30-sma, still well below the 50-sma. Is my SOX chart stuck, because isn't this the way the daily candle has looked for hours? RLX still testing its 50-sma. WMT still testing yesterday's resistance, not able to pick itself up toward the morning high and the 200-sma. TRAN still near the high of the day, and it's the TRAN that I'm watching most closely for another move, for a sign that the air has been let out of its tires.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:29:18 PM

The OEX shows the same bearish price/MACD divergence on its five-minute chart as does the TRAN, but it's been working at erasing Keltner-style divergences. On the 15-minute chart, the OEX is turning down from the upper Keltner resistance, and those whose preferred profit-protecting plan is following the OEX higher with stops should be adhering to their plans if those stops are hit. While prices are hitting a new high, the advdec line isn't, and that's a form of divergence, too. Prices can keep going while these divergences keep showing up, but be careful of a sudden drop, too. I think I'd agree with Marc's comment from a few minutes earlier about closing out bullish plays today.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 2:24:58 PM

Current OPEN MM Profiles that I've made at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:24:33 PM

The TRAN has been climbing all day, showing bearish price/MACD divergence on the five-minute chart all day, too.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 2:18:20 PM

02:00 Internals at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 2:17:51 PM

02:00 Market Watch at this Link

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 2:16:43 PM

QQQQ needs to get below 37.55 to turn the 30 min cycle from tentatively up to tentatively down. There's very little selling pressure on the lower intraday high just now.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:14:56 PM

Dialing up to the next time interval on the Keltner charts, I see that there's been a breakout on the OEX's 30-minute Keltner chart, with an upside target at 585.80. Remember that the OEX is within a zone of daily Keltner resistance, though, so that gains should be protected.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 2:10:13 PM

Session high for ten year bonds here at 111 11/16, with TNX -7.5 bps at 4.308%, a 1.71% decline. Crude oil is up to 53.725 here, gold at 435.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 2:04:41 PM

The OEX has now hit the upside target--also upside resistance--on the 15-minute Keltner chart. Bulls need to have profit-protecting plans in place, perhaps with those plans being to follow the OEX higher with stops or to take profit or partial profits.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 2:03:21 PM

Amazing divergence between QQQQ and SPX, with SPX breaking new upside ground in a rising pattern on the 30 min and daily charts, while QQQQ continues its sideways chop.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 2:01:20 PM

Back to find QQQQ reaching for the combined 30 and 60 min channel tops at 37.70. A failure to reverse sharply from that level will suggest a new upleg to follow this morning's 10AM ramp up. However, QQQQ bulls need to break the 37.75 high to avoid double-topping at that level.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:53:31 PM

On the 15-minute Keltner chart, the upside target has now risen to 584.40.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:52:59 PM

The OEX is breaking above that three-minute Keltner resistance, big time. Strange. That configuration usually proves fairly predictive.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:49:05 PM

If the OEX's Keltner-style bearish divergence is to continue, the OEX will not see three-minute closes much above 583.27. It's above that now, but barely.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:47:32 PM

Crude did manage a 15-minute close above the level needed to erase that downside target, as per my 1:44 post. The QQQQ's did bounce, too, as their position at midline support suggested they would.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:43:49 PM

The OEX did fall, and relatively soon, but it fell only to first support on the three-minute chart. I think the OEX may be about to head up and retest that massed resistance again, and it still looks strong enough to turn the OEX back, but bulls aren't giving up, are they?

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:44:28 PM

Jeff, I really don't think I can see what you see, because yesterday I sure didn't see what you saw in SWC and look at it today! Smile. I took a look at crude and the QQQQ's on a 15-minute Keltner chart, to get a different perspective from what you might be watching. Of course, I see a similarity in the shapes of price movements for the last couple of days, although they're very dissimilar as to what the Keltners show. On the Keltner chart, crude looks to be headed down toward $52.00-$52.20 unless it can maintain 15-minute closes above a Keltner line currently at $53.50, a level being tested as I type this. The QQQQ's, in contrast, are testing the midline level with support massed down to $37.44. A 15-minute close below this level would set a downside target near $37.18 while a bounce and 15-minute close above the line currently at $37.54 would set a first upside target of $37.64 and perhaps $37.80, depending on what happened at that first resistance. The QQQQ's, at least, may be settling into an equilibrium position, bouncing in an ever tightening range until the next breakout. So, I'm wondering if their price patterns will become unlinked now, if the QQQQ's might attempt a bounce whether or not crude does? Not sure how successful a bounce would be, of course. I'm not as accustomed as either you or Jonathan to watching the QQQQ's on the Keltner charts, however.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:26:33 PM

OEX now testing that massed Keltner resistance on the three-minute Keltner chart. We'll see whether that massed resistance was telling the truth or not. See my 1:19 post.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 1:26:20 PM

Hmmmm... just flipped to a QQQQ chart on 15-minute intervals. Do you see what I see? Now look at that oil chart! What do you think Linda?

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 1:24:17 PM

April Crude Oil (cl05j) 15-minute interval chart at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:22:17 PM

Revision to my 1:19 post: A phrase in the second paragraph should have read that "it did not break above the upper channel line by a higher proportion." That "not" was important.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:20:54 PM

The OEX's three-minute Keltner chart strongly suggests that the OEX will drop and soon. Nearest support on that chart is at 582.79 and then 582.48. Below that, it's at 581.82 and 581.16, probably the strongest. Below that, it's 579.28.

Keltner-style bearish divergence showing up on the OEX's three-minute chart. Although the OEX pushed higher, it did not break above the upper channel line by a higher proportion--in fact, the break was less exciting. That's Keltner-style bearish divergence. Remember that it's a warning only, and that a strongly trending stock or index can go on trending with bearish divergences showing up all day. However, bulls have had their warning and can now watch to see if price action does anything to confirm that warning.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 1:16:29 PM

01:00 Internals at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:13:36 PM

RLX still testing its 50-sma. GE again testing its 50-sma. C testing its 50-dma. Nasdaq not yet at its 50-dma. (We've got a theme going here.) BIX again testing its 30-sma. WMT not anywhere near retesting its 200-sma after starting the day just below it, but is testing historical support near its 50-dma. KO, also an OEX component, is today testing its 200-sma, not yet able to bump above it. SOX just sitting where it's been sitting for a while. MER, comprising 0.92% of the OEX, certainly helps the OEX post gains. Today, though, it appears to be helped by some sectors, although with many of those moving up to test resistance.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:07:47 PM

MACD is not joining the fun, still basically flat-lined on three- and five-minute charts.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 1:05:53 PM

The OEX has now hit the original upside target from the first Keltner breakout this morning. The current upside target is 584.24. Bulls need to continue with plans to protect bullish profits, especially as the OEX also approaches daily Keltner resistance, from 584.25-585.42 (on a daily closing basis).

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 1:05:15 PM

I think so Linda ... and all the way to MONTHLY R2s most likely.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 1:03:57 PM

01:00 Market Watch at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 12:49:57 PM

Is the TRAN going to pull the Dow and S&P's higher? Is the SOX going to pull other tech-related indices lower? I don't like seeing this divergence in major indicator indices.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 12:47:53 PM

The OEX needs to push above the previous HOD before bulls can breathe easier about a further attempt to reach toward the upside target on the 15-minute Keltner chart. The TRAN has reached a new HOD and a high above the December high.

Some of you might have been stopped out on bullish plays on the dip this morning or may have elected to take profit or partial profit near the high, depending on your intended profit-protecting plan. Those who took stops at lower levels may be kicking around right now and those who elected to take profits at 583 may be wondering if they took profits too soon, but the OEX has not yet proven that it can continue to gain. We enact these plans for a reason, and good account maintenance requires that we adhere to our plans, whatever they have been. Because Keltners gave us good estimates of support and resistance this morning, estimates I noted in the MM, traders had opportunity to assess and revise their plans ahead of time and out of the heat of the fire.

Marc Eckelberry : 3/4/2005 12:43:52 PM

DOW hits weekly R1

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 12:40:45 PM

I need to step away for an hour. QQQQ update at this Link

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 12:36:19 PM

Nymex crude is almost back to unchanged territory, up .075 at 53.65 off a high of 53.95 on the Nymex.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 12:26:35 PM

QQQQ's breaking back above 7200 tick SMA resistance at 37.56, testing 37.60 again. The short cycle oscillators are turning up against the sideways 30 and 60 min channels. Short term direction is a toss-up in this chopm but a break above 37.70 or below 37.45 would provide direction for the now-sideways 30 min cycle. My guess is that this is distribution for QQQQ and will resolve itself to the downside- but for that, 37.65-.70 must hold.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 12:28:21 PM

Per Tab's 11:41:05 ... it has also been observation that dollar tends to rally into nonfarm reports, then see selling if number isn't "too hot, or too cold, but just right."

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 12:21:55 PM

Corning (GLW) $11.62 -0.85% ... announced the redemption of certain 3.5% convertible debentures due in 2008. Redemption date is March 22. Full story at this Link . I'll have to run some numbers and check short interest.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 12:18:02 PM

The OEX is tentatively holding onto the breakout level again on the OEX's 15-minute chart, continuing the possibility of reaching toward the upside boundary, which is now at 584.04. I've noticed before, however, a sometimes tendency for the original target at the time of the breakout to hold as resistance, and that was nearer 583.36.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 12:17:05 PM

Session high for April gold here, breaking the previous high by 20 cents at 436.20, with HUI +2.87% at 2.9% and XAU +2.91% at 99.92.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 12:13:17 PM

12:00 Internals at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 12:07:26 PM

The TRAN is moving back toward the day's high.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 12:06:40 PM

I'm noting that the advdec line has a symmetrical triangle at the top of its climb today, perhaps echoing the one that may be forming on the OEX's five-minute chart. The OEX's looks a bit more like a H&S than does the advdec's.

Tab Gilles : 3/4/2005 12:05:38 PM

Murphy Oil (MUR) breaking over $100. Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 12:05:33 PM

The OEX has a roughly shaped potential H&S at the top of its climb on its five-minute chart. The rising neckline looks as if it would be at about 581.60, depending on how it's drawn, but it's rising, of course. These often resolve into a symmetrical triangle at the top of the climb, with a completely different connotation, of course. Depends on whether bulls or bears gain the lead for the short-term.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 12:04:40 PM

12:00 Market Watch at this Link

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 12:03:43 PM

No weakness in ten year treasuries, with TNX now down 6.6 bps at 4.317%, a 1.44% decline this morning. QQQQ is going nowhere fast, but holding below the now-declining 7200 tick SMA. The last touch of the line was met with a sell program that exceeded 1M QQQQ shares within a single 100-tick bar.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 12:01:51 PM

Payless Shoe (PSS) $14.13 +0.92% ... day trader's chart at this Link

Tab Gilles : 3/4/2005 12:02:21 PM

$SOX.X Semi Index continues to decline from it's negative divergence and 450 double top.(see 3/3/05 11:16AM post). Watching 420/100-ma for nearterm support. Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 11:53:18 AM

So far, GE has not been able to maintain values above its 50-sma. WMT has not been able to breach its 200-sma and -ema, staying rather closer to its LOD than its HOD. C has climbed, but has also been unable to maintain its 50-dma. MER has posted a big gain, however, now above the December high. Among some indices, the BIX remains within its recent consolidation zone, unable to maintain the attempted breakout this morning, The SOX remains above yesterday's low, but well below its 200-week sma, and the TRAN still tests its December high, having moved a little more than $0.50 above that high before easing. Market bulls want to see the TRAN maintain its highs today to avoid setting up the potential for a huge double-top formation on its daily chart. Also, the RLX still tests its 50-sma.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:54:31 AM

Bullish day trade long setup alert ... for shares of Payless Shoe (PSS) $14.14 +1.0% ... go long if stock trades $14.22, stop $14.00, target $14.45 by the close. (Disclosure ... I currently own bullish calls on PSS)

Tab Gilles : 3/4/2005 11:48:59 AM

Marc, Thank you. This is why I focused directly on the currency market and charts. They gave the direction and gold inversely followed. $USD down...gold up

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 11:47:21 AM

QQQQ failed on the bounce attempt to 37.60, rolling over from a lower high beneath the 7200 tick SMA line: Link

Marc Eckelberry : 3/4/2005 11:44:39 AM

Tab, re your excellent post (as usual), I heard the whisper for the dollar to go green was a jobs number over 300,000, Anything below and it would sell.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:43:33 AM

Current OPEN MM profiles that I've made at this Link Updated stops for AA and SWC. SWC's #shares adjusted for selling 1/2 position at $11.70.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 11:43:30 AM

Ten year treasury yields spiked to a new high that dojied back down in a key outside/bearish engulfing candle today, coinciding with a bearish cross on the 10 day stochastic and a rising trendline break- a picture-perfect daily cycle sell signal: Link

Marc Eckelberry : 3/4/2005 11:42:38 AM

I'm going to lower the stop back to .75 on the DIA April 109 puts (entry 1.50). We could have some wild swings today and it is pretty thinly traded. Ultimately, I expect to hit 10700, the monthly pivot, some time in March. There is another entry here at 1.50 for those who missed the first one. See my comments on futures monitor for reasons behind the short.

Tab Gilles : 3/4/2005 11:41:05 AM

EUR/USD Well.... yesterday I wrote (11:47AM) that a payroll # below 220,000 would trigger selling in the dollar and a rise in gold. We got a # well above that and what has happened? Selling in the dollar and gold is up....HUH?????

Yes, even CNBC Rick Santelli was curious to as why? From what I've gathered this morning after going thru some of the data and reports is that the market is comfortable and that the data showed better-than-expected jobs growth last month, signaling economic expansion, BUT not so strong as to accelerate interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve that it might not be inflationary jobs growth. Thus, the Fed doesn't have to increase interest rates more than expected. Here are some EUR/USD charts hourly Link Daily Link

Gold (GLD) found nearterm support at $43. Link

$GOX Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:36:02 AM

Swing trade raise bullish stop alert ... for Alcoa (AA) $31.77 +1.56% ... to break even.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:34:15 AM

Swing trade raise bullish stop alert in the remaining 1/2 bullish position in Stillwater Mining (SWC) $12.30 +13.79% ... to $11.50.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 11:31:34 AM

OEX attempting to break above that gathered Keltner resistance again.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 11:24:54 AM

QQQQ volume has dropped as the price chops sideways below 37.60. This feels like the "weightless" drift as the broader 60 min cycle turns to join the 30 min downphase. For that intepretation to be valid, however, 30 min cycle resistance at 37.65 should not be broken by any bounce from here, and a break below 37.45 will confirm the new downphases.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 11:24:02 AM

The OEX can change the situation, but as of this writing, it's looking vulnerable to a downturn through its rising regression channel again. The midpoint is at 579.33, so potential support lies there, as well as at the bottom, at 576.20, and a little above and below that level. To begin changing this outlook, the OEX needs to continue to find support at the Keltner line now at 581.13 and then to produce new 15-minute closes above the Keltner line currently at 581.79.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:14:51 AM

11:00 Internals at this Link Note: I'm unsure that TRIN indications are correct, but I'm placing on the internals table only for observation of direction.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 11:09:49 AM

The CRB continues higher, up .63 to 308.15 on strength in silver, copper, coffee and gold futures. Even crude is up here, +.325 at 53.90 off a low of 52.925.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 11:07:22 AM

The OEX is trying to steady at the top of its former ascending regression channel, but its ability to steady is looking a bit iffy. It's now got 15-minute Keltner resistance above it from 581.80-582.33 and would need a strong shove to get through that.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 11:06:35 AM

April gold has broken the highs of the past 2 days on its 436 high, but bulls will want to see the 440 level broken to take out last week's spike high and invalidate the daily cycle downphase that launched off that doji at the end of last month. 430 remains support, tested 3 successfully on 3 occasions this week. Currently, April gold is up 4.30 at 430.10, with HUI +2.74% at 215.94 and XAU +2.71% at 99.71.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:04:04 AM

11:00 Market Watch at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 11:03:11 AM

The SOX is dropping out of what appeared to be a bear flag on its 15-minute chart. Needs to be confirmed by a move below yesterday's low, though.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 11:02:15 AM

QQQQ chart updated at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 11:01:35 AM

The OEX is dipping back inside the rising regression channel, back inside the black channel that marked its breakout status. Bulls don't want to see a 15-minute close below the 581.77 level, or at least not below 580.90. So far, this is just a test of former resistance, but the shape of the decline isn't looking great. Bulls had opportunity to devise a profit-protecting plan this morning for a test of that upper channel line (didn't quite get there) and should be adhering to the plan devised in calmer times this morning, whatever that plan might have been.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:59:15 AM

June Palladium (pa05m) $213.00 +6.57% ... after trading its 80.9% retracement and session high of $219.00. 597 contracts so far!

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 11:00:37 AM

Stillwater Mining (SWC) $12.15 +12.50% ... at 38.2% of that RED retracement from work performed late last night in the March Palladium futures.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:56:37 AM

This morning, the TRAN inched about $.50 over its late-year high from last year. It's now below that level. Market bulls of any stripe want to see the TRAN maintain today's highs and even push substantially higher to avoid setting up a potential double-top on the weekly chart. As I've been showing on TRAN weekly and monthly charts using envelopes, the TRAN is overbought by historical measures on both, reaching levels that usually mark major swing highs before a reversal. If the TRAN is setting up a new trend, then it needs to maintain it. Otherwise, this is looking like the TRAN is closer to a major swing high than not. Last year's high was 3823.96 and today's high was 3824.48, with the TRAN now at 3805.61.

Marc Eckelberry : 3/4/2005 10:55:48 AM

Raise the stop on the DIA April 109 puts (entry 1.50) to .90.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:54:29 AM

QQQQ's 30 min cycle channel and 7200 tick SMA are keeling over on the break.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:53:49 AM

Sell Program Premium .... SPX 1,218.43, DIA $109.00

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:49:42 AM

The SOX did rise up to test the 200-week sma, but got knocked back.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:50:15 AM

Stillwater Mining (SWC) $12.00 +11.11% ... and a session high. Day traders that want to exit remaining position and go flat for the weekend. BLUE #6 is at $12.21. For my market monitor profiles, I'm going to hold for account. Thinking strongly about a covered call for March expiration, but want to see how things unfold today.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:48:05 AM

On the 15-minute chart, the OEX's pullback still looks like a possible bull flag, but bulls want to see 15-minute closes remain above the Keltner line currently at 581.69.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:48:04 AM

A spike in volume of nearly 800K QQQQ shares within 100 ticks has the 7200 tick SMA support test holding again. The 30 min cycle upphase has stalled, however, and if bulls can't break the prior high at 37.75 resistance, then that lower low should preface a new 30 min cycle downphase confirmed on a break below 37.50.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:47:25 AM

Alcoa (AA) $31.82 +1.72% ... Alcan (AL) $40.46 +2.74% ... Aluminuminum!

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:42:58 AM

Are markets beyond reacting to a bin Laden rumor? I don't know how many of you were hanging around last night, but a rumor hit the forex markets that bin Laden had been captured. I did see a momentary pop in currencies, but only momentary and hard to attribute to that rumor. As Jeff commented on the MM last night after I'd mentioned the rumor, futures didn't move at all. Maybe we've heard so many of these rumors that markets are immune to them? As Jim and Jane have both mentioned, bin Laden's capture won't affect market realities.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:40:22 AM

The BIX is testing the converging 30-sma and 100-ema. Until this week, neither of these averages appeared to have any particular resonance lately for the BIX, but they have been stopping its advances this week. They have this morning, too, so far, but the pullback after that test hasn't been a deep one. The 50-dma is just overhead by a few points, at 370.02. Currently, the BIX is at 366.76, with a HOD at 367.68.

Marc Eckelberry : 3/4/2005 10:38:04 AM

Profiling the DIA April 109 puts here at 1.50. Stop .75.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:37:48 AM

Congrats with the SWC, Jeff. Don't know how you did that, but it's certainly looking great today!

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:35:55 AM

Some thoughts on the Dow, based on a 15-minute nested Keltner channel chart: Link

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:35:16 AM

QQQQ's flirting with 37.60 support, just above rising 7200 tick SMA support. A break below that will stall the upphase and kick off a bearish divergence short cycle downphase. Note that the last 7200 tick SMA test held and launched the 10AM spike- a failure here could reverse the intraday bullish bias.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:28:01 AM

Remember that the upside target determined by the 15-minute Keltner chart shown in my 10:23 post is also potential resistance. It turns higher, so that the OEX can climb higher without needing to make the effort to break through it, but bulls should have profit-protecting plans in place for that test. The daily Keltner chart shows some resistance lines converging from 584.13-585.37, so be very careful through here. We can have breakouts on daily Keltner charts as well as intraday ones. We can also see prices punch through Keltner lines only to see prices reverse back inside them, or we can see prices slam to a halt even ahead of a touch of those lines. Their presence shows increasing resistance building, though. Hence the reason for my caution. Conservative traders might be quick to take profits today.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:27:28 AM

Bearish swing trade call option close out alert ... Close out the two (2) Dow Diamonds DIA April $106 Puts (DIA-PB) at the bid of $0.50. DIA $109.22 +0.89% here.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:26:28 AM

Session high for ten year treasuries here at 111 1/16, TNX -5 bps at 4.333% and kicking off a new daily cycle downphase from overbought territory.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:24:59 AM

Crude oil is trading again, and is weak here, down .50 at 53.075.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:23:45 AM

Dialing up to a 15-minute nested Keltner chart for the OEX shows how the potential upside target was set: Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:23:24 AM

Information from a 7-minute OEX nested Keltner channel chart: Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:22:55 AM

Broker/Dealer Index Alert ... XBD.X 152.68 +2.35% ... reclaims its December 2004 close!

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:22:12 AM

Stillwater Mining (SWC) $11.77 +8.98% ... should be filled on 1/2 position exit at $11.70.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:22:09 AM

Heavy volume for QQQQ this morning with 35.8M shares traded so far. The 30 and 60 min cycles continued to point north, and the 7200 tick SMA is up to 37.55, above which the picture remains entirely bullish. Today's high is currently being tested, above which the daily cycle downphase will again stall.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:18:44 AM

10:00 Internals at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:16:16 AM

Bullish day trade stop alert on 1/2 of the SWC position here at $11.70.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:15:06 AM

Bullish day trade raise stop alert on 1/2 of the Stillwater Mining (SWC) $11.80 +9.25% position ... raise stop to $11.70

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:12:23 AM

The advdec line has touched that +3000 issues that sometimes show the enthusiasm a tad overdone. Doesn't mean there will be an immediate downturn--markets could still gain all day--but just be aware of where that advdec line is.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:10:00 AM

OEX high of 583.05 so far. Upper Keltner resistance on the 15-minute chart is now 583.68, but still rising. Bulls need to have profit-protecting plans in mind for that level, if reached.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:08:35 AM

Nasdaq still hasn't tested its 50-dma. I think there's still danger in the markets to bullish plays with the Nasdaq still under that MA.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:08:28 AM

QQQQ chart updated at this Link

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:08:10 AM

VIX.X 12.02 -7.03% ... DAILY Pivots ... 11.88, 12.38, Piv= 12.72, 13.22, 13.56.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:07:49 AM

SOX now positive, still below the 440 level and the 200-week sma at 440.46. The SOX is at 436.34 as I type.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:06:55 AM

WMT still testing this morning's gap.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:06:10 AM

GE slightly above its 50-dma but still testing.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:04:35 AM

A 15-minute close above the needed Keltner line to set a potential upside target of 583.56. I'd certainly know ahead of time how I intended to handle that level if in bullish plays. There has not yet been a 15-minute close above the top of the OEX's rising regression channel, so the danger of a roll down through that rising channel still exists.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 10:03:19 AM

The OEX is trying for breakout status on its 15-minute Keltner chart again. The SOX is now lightly positive, off both its HOD and LOD; the BIX positive but charging up into the resistance that has stopped it all week, TRAN at its high of the day; WMT gapped up to its 200-sma but now falls back toward yesterday's resistance to test it as support; GE climbs into a test of its 50-sma. Some of these indicator indices and stocks support the OEX's strength; some not so much; some do, but haven't yet broken out themselves. Overall, I'd count them as giving support, but I'd certainly be watchful of some of these tests going on.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 10:02:12 AM

10:00 Market Watch at this Link

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 10:01:11 AM

Factory orders, +.2% vs. est. unchanged, prior .5% revised up from .3%.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:59:45 AM

Running through some of yesterday morning's big gainers (not all were by the end of the day): BA is slightly down this morning, C's range has been inside yesterday's range with C having tanked from the opening high yesterday, WMT gapped up to its 200-sma this morning, but has fallen from its opening print down to test yesterday's resistance, MER gapped up this morning and verges on a test of the 12/15 high of $61.16 with MER at $60.92 as I type. Those are just a few that I remember off the top of my head. Watch WMT.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:59:17 AM

QQQQ challenges the previous high here on a bounce off the 7200 tick SMA.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:58:21 AM

Factory orders due in 2 minutes, est. unchanged.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:58:12 AM

Current OPEN MM Profiles that I've made at this Link

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:56:21 AM

GE is back in that gappy zone on its daily chart, currently challenging yesterday's high and the 30-sma. Just above is the top of that zone (but not yet the top of the right shoulder for its potential H&S) is the 50-dma at 35.94. GE is at 35.84 as I type.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:54:53 AM

RLX hasn't broken above its 50-dma, either.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:54:27 AM

Nasdaq hasn't broken above the 50-dma.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:53:36 AM

The Fed's open market desk has just replaced yesterday's whopping 9.25B overnight repo with a 2.75B weekend repo for a net drain of 6.5B.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:52:50 AM

UMichigan sentiment 94.1 vs. 94.3 expected, prior 94.2.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:51:15 AM

We have a thunderstorm here in Dallas, with lights blinking on and off. If I disappear, I'll be headed to the laptop to work from there.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:50:38 AM

Stillwater Mining (SWC) $11.55 +6.94% ... session high on light volume of just 81,800 shares. Sellers void.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:50:26 AM

The TRAN is higher, but its 15-minute chart begins to take on the look of a broadening formation at the top of a climb. Contrary to expectations, the TRAN sometimes breaks through these to the upside--the upside break through one on the daily chart on 2/24 prompted the TRAN's strong gains since--so we can't count on the traditional downside resolution. What we can count on is that this is a sign of emotion-based, disorganized trading with ultimate direction difficult to predict.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:47:42 AM

A short cycle downphase has kicked off for QQQQ following some high volume sell spikes here, with price now testing rising 7200 tick SMA support at 37.43.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:47:23 AM

SOX headed down. This should be worrisome to market bulls.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:46:36 AM

North American Palladium $8.35 +4.89% ... jumped as high as $8.55 and now above its 200-day SMA ($8.26)

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:45:47 AM

No breakout on the OEX's 15-minute chart, so that no 583-ish upside target can yet be set, at least according to the 15-minute Keltner charts. Instead, those charts suggest an equal possibility that the OEX could turn down within its rising regression channel.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:44:19 AM

Not getting filled on those SWC calls, we're the bid and offer has backed off now to $1.80 from $1.70. SWC $11.50 +6.48%

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:40:31 AM

Current 7200 tick SMA support is at 37.40 for QQQQ, above which the 30 and 60 min channels remain bullish. QQQQ's pullback here is testing the short cycle upphase, which is overbought but not maxxed out. A break below 37.40 would kick off a new short cycle downphase from here and stall the 30 min upphase.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:36:50 AM

The OEX tests 15-minute Keltner resistance. Bulls want to see a 15-minute close over the Keltner line currently at 580.88, to help maintain that potential breakout status, setting a potential upside target of 583.37. The first retracement of the day begins in a few minutes, so it's unclear whether the OEX can produce that breakout signal on this 15-minute period. I really would be quick to take profits in this market, although I'm the take-profits-too-soon queen myself this morning in premarket action. Breakout plays just have not worked well in the OEX, however.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:40:45 AM

Swing trade call option alert ... taking three (3) of the Stillwater Mining April $10 Calls (SWC-DB) at the offer of $1.65. SWC $11.27 +4.35% here. (Disclosure: I currently own a bullish position in SWC from yesterday)

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:34:25 AM

Gold holds its gains, up 4.60 at 435.40 with HUI up .6% at 211.46. Crude oil closed the morning down .4 at 53.175. No sign of weakness for QQQQ, with the 30 and 60 min cycles now in gear to the upside and 37.60 resistance falling.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:34:02 AM

New high on the OEX.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:33:49 AM

The RLX again tests its 50-dma, as it's been doing for the last three days.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:33:23 AM

The BIX climbs, but remains between recent resistance and recent support. No breakout there, either.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:32:42 AM

The SOX climbs this morning, but remains below the 200-week sma. This average that Marc pointed out to us will be particularly important on today's close. Note that there was semi weakness again in Asia due to a disappointing statement by Chartered Semiconductor.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:31:27 AM

Big climb, of course, as expected due to the payrolls numbers. Remember that we have other economic numbers coming this morning at 9:45 and 10:00.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:28:48 AM

Biogen (BIIB) ... Morgan Stanley saying it has had a discussion with a number of PML experts in recent days and these experts more optimistic about Tysabri's return to the market than Morgan Stanley's own research team. However, Morgan Stanley says outside opinions are by no means unanimous.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:23:15 AM

Pre-market most actives ... QQQQ $37.54 +0.64%, ELN $5.69 -14%, SPY $122.01 +0.65%, MSFT $25.23 +0.23%, SONS $4.51 -18%, BIIB $38.70 -1.6%

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 9:18:28 AM

QQQQ's surge higher this morning follows the strength in the 30 min cycle noted yesterday afternoon and has at last pulled the broader 60 min cycle up into synch with it. Bulls need to hold above 37.40 past the cash open to preserve this setup. Above 37.60 resistance, next resistance is at 37.75 and 37.82.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:17:12 AM

European markets have zoomed higher since our jobs numbers, despite dollar weakness after that release. Dollar weakness hurts their exporters.

Jeff Bailey : 3/4/2005 9:13:37 AM

Palladium prices surged overnight. March Palladium (pa05h) $218.00 +10.18%, while June Palladium (pa05m) $210.00 +5.07% +5.07% rose $10.15.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 9:12:20 AM

The OEX's daily chart has begun to take on the look of a cup-and-handle formation that is a type of continuation pattern. That's in the bulls' corner. It's typical for continuation patterns to form at or slightly below strong resistance. Link As noted on the chart, the OEX needs to break through that resistance soon or the formation could be invalidated. The Russell 2000's potential cup-and-handle formation's degeneration is somewhat troublesome for those hoping to see an upward resolution to this cup-and-handle formation. We've seen two days in a row in which the OEX moved to or toward 580.50 but could not sustain the breakout.

Yesterday, bulls were forewarned because there wasn't strong sector participation in the gains, and they instead seemed to be propelled by selected big cap stocks. That could be part of a rotation into big cap stocks, but as Jim has often pointed out, it's many times the small caps and techs that lead indices higher. The SOX certainly wasn't helping, although it did bounce off its LOD. The BIX also managed a bounce from the LOD, but it closed in negative territory, still bouncing between support and resistance. The RLX turned down from its 50-dma. The TRAN printed another doji, and the TRAN remains overbought by historical measures on both a weekly and a monthly basis.

Futures are higher this morning. If another breakout should be attempted, bulls want to see participation by some of the sectors important to market health in general and OEX health in particular. As the day ended yesterday, the OEX had been producing a series of lower highs on its 10-minute chart, but it remained within its ascending regression channel established this week. Strongest nearby support appeared to be at 577.60, but the bottom of the channel lay at 576.16. Resistance was just overhead, and then again at 578.86, at the midline of the ascending regression channel, and at 579.86. If futures strength carries through to the cash market open, something that doesn't always occur, then the OEX may well open near or in that resistance zone that I've been pointing out so long. Bulls want to see a sustained move that's supported by sector strength. One note: semis were weak again in Asia last night, with Chartered Semiconductor delivering bad news in the form of a revision of its loss estimate, to be at the bigger end of the previous range given.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 8:56:26 AM

Hourly earnings were flat vs. +.2% exp., whith last month's reading revised down from +.3% to +.2%.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 8:34:21 AM

Bonds have whipped back up, TNX down 3.6 bps at 4.343%, gold up 3.2 at 434 and silver up .92% at a sessionhigh. QQQQ is up .17 at 37.47, and crude oil is down .05 at 53.525.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 8:32:34 AM








Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 8:30:17 AM

Session highs for equiteis and gold, session lows for bonds- must be positive data. Coming now.

Jonathan Levinson : 3/4/2005 7:58:07 AM

Equities are higher, ES trading 1211, NQ 1515, YM 10838 and QQQQ +.01 at 37.31. Gold is flat at 430.80, silver down .015 at 7.245, ten year notes up .0625 at 110 3/4 and crude oil -.175 at 53.40.

We await the 8:30 release of nonfarm payrolls, est. 225K, the unemployment rate, est. 5.2%, hour earnings, est. .2% and the average workweek, est. 33.8. At 9:45 we get Michigan Sentiment, est. 94.3 and at 10AM, Factory Orders, est. unchanged.

Linda Piazza : 3/4/2005 6:50:09 AM

Good morning. After starting out in negative territory, the Nikkei eked out its seventh straight gain Friday. Other Asian markets were mixed. European markets show modest gains, but in the second straight day of reacting opposite to European bourses, our futures climbed into the European open, but then dropped. Over the last few minutes prior to the completion of this report, they have bounced off their lows to show modest gains. Our futures will likely react to the release of the 8:30 numbers this morning, however. As of 6:01 EST, gold was unchanged, and crude, down $0.09. More detail about Asian and European markets follows in succeeding paragraphs.

The Nikkei gapped lower Friday morning, dropped for the first thirty minutes of trading and then climbed toward the flat-line level, finally breaking above it during the afternoon session. The Nikkei closed higher by 16.59 points or 0.14%, at 11,873.05. It extended its winning streak to seven days. In early trading, higher crude prices had investors eyeing recent gains and deciding to take profits after the Nikkei's longest winning streak since January 2001. One early gainer in Japan was Sumitomo Metal Mining Company, benefiting from the discovery of new gold deposits. This company's stock ended higher by 6.8%. Semi-related stocks remained weak. Stocks related to domestic demand tended to gain.

Other Asian markets were mixed. The Taiwan Weighted dropped 0.14%, but South Korea's Kospi gained 0.20%. In Singapore, Chartered Semiconductor lost 3.7% after the company guided analysts to expect a Q1 loss at the upper end of previous loss guidance. Singapore's Straits Times climbed 0.33%, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.16%. China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.51%.

Most European markets gain, with oil-related stocks helping bourses to post gains. U.K. lender Halifax said February's home prices had declined 0.5%, but noted the company's belief that interest rates are near their high. Although there may be another interest rate hike, the company believes, a slowdown in the housing market and consumer spending growth may even allow for rate cuts later in the year. In the eurozone, February's unemployment rose a slightly-lower-than-expected 0.3% month-over-month, with January's revised down to an unchanged figure. Germany's January manufacturing orders dropped a less-than-feared 3.4% month over month. The two-month rate had climbed 4.4%, but December orders had risen due to big-ticket items that may not go into production right away. In that two-month figure, domestic orders fell 7.1% month-over-month and foreign order rose 0.8% month over month. Domestic orders for capital goods increased 4.9% in a two-month comparison. The manufacturing orders number was deemed an okay one overall since it did not point to decreased foreign demand due to the strengthening euro.

Oil-related companies Total SA, Royal Dutch/Shell NV, ENI SpA and Repsol SA gained, but Thales SA did not join its sector peers in making gains. DaimlerChrysler's chief executive noted in an interview that an EADS-Thales deal would not offer shareholders benefits, with DaimlerChrysler holding about a 30% stake in EADS. Other stocks appeared to be reacting individually to news or analysts calls.

As of 6:42 EST, the FTSE 100 had gained a modest 5.40 points or 0.11%, to trade at 5,020.20. The CAC 40 had gained 3.42 points or 0.08%, to trade at 4,064.77. The DAX had gained 13.61 points or 0.31%, to trade at 4,386.88.

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