E-mini trade remains choppy into holidays

Good day! The market remained trapped primarily within a narrow trading range heading into the weekend. Despite a retest of highs, investors have started to become nervous heading into the end of the year. The market has spent the quarter steadily making higher highs, creating an exhaustion move and a bull trap on the most recent daily high as momentum slows coming off fresh two-year highs. Nevertheless, the bears haven't been able to regain control just yet.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Figure 1)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) had a loss of 7.34 points, or 0.06%, and closed at 11,491.91 on Friday. Thirteen of the Dow's 30 index components posted a gain for the session. The leaders were Boeing (BA) (+0.98%), Kraft Foods (KFT) (+0.92%), DuPont (DD) (+0.83%), and Intel (INTC) (+0.75%). The weakest performers were American Express (AXP) (-1.26%), Pfizer (PFE) (-1.10%), Cisco (CSCO) (-1.01%), and Merck (MRK) (-0.98%). The Dow ended the week higher by 0.72%.

The S&P 500 ($SPX) rose 1.04 points or 0.08%, and closed at 1,243.91. The top performer in the index was Marshall & Ilsley (MI), which reached an agreement to be acquired by Canada's BMO Financial based on a share price of $7.75. Allegheny Technologies (ATI) (+7.16%) was another leader, breaking higher out of a trading range that is testing the year's highs. Titanium Metals (TIE) (+6.23%), AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS) (+5.99%), and Boston Scientific (BSX) (+5.96%) were other notable gainers. At the other end of the spectrum were Expeditors Intl. (EXPD) (-2.83%), Discover Financial Services (DFS) (-2.75%), Vulcan Materials (VMC) (-2.68%), and Forest Labs (FRX) (-2.65%). The S&P 500 ended the week higher by 0.28%. Materials, consumer staples, and health care were the best sectors for the week, while financials were the weakest. Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan (JPM) were only two of the handful of banks that were issued new subpoenas by the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection to mortgage dealings.

S&P 500 (Figure 2)

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the session higher by 5.66 points, or 0.21%, on Friday and it closed at 2,642.97. The strongest performer in the Nasdaq-100 was Oracle Corp. (ORCL) (+3.93%) after it beat earnings estimates. It was followed by Cephalon Inc. (CEPH) (+3.38%), Expedia Inc. (EXPE) (+3.27%), and Warner Chilcott (WCRX) (+3.16%). The weakest were Expeditors Intl. (EXPD), eBay (EBAY) (-2.33%), and Symantec Corp. (SYMC) (-1.91%). The Nasdaq Composite ended the week higher by 0.21%.

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