Equity indexes push higher on M&A activity


The S&P 500 ($SPX) rose 8.18 points or 0.62%, and closed at 1,319.05. Big Lots (BIG) jumped at the close and ended the session as the S&P 500's top gainer, up 15.46%. JC Penney (JCP) followed. It rose 5.70%. American Intl. Group (AIG) (+5.45%) and St Jude Med. (STJ) (+4.86%) were also in the top four. Sysco Corp. (SYY) (-6.16%), Motorola Mobility (MMI) (-4.34%), and NVIDIA (NVDA) (-4.17%) were the weakest shares on the S&P 500.

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the session higher by 14.69 points, or 0.53%, on Monday and it closed at 2,783.99. Check Point Software Tech. (CHKP) (+3.34%), Micron Tech. (MU) (+2.17%), and Marvell Tech. (MRVL) (+1.72%) led the gainers in the Nasdaq-100. At the other end of the spectrum amongst the Nasdaq's biggest companies were NVIDIA (NVDA) (-4.17%), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) (-2.86%), and News Corp. (NWSA) (-1.72%).

Tuesday will be a light day for data. Disney (DIS) is amongst those that report earnings after the bell, while Coca-Cola (KO) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) are among the highly anticipated earnings reports for on Wednesday. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is also scheduled to testify before the House Budget Committee on Wednesday morning. Thursday's data includes the weekly report for first-time jobless claims and December's wholesale inventories. The week will wrap up on Friday with December's U.S. trade balance and the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report.

Although Monday was light on data, President Obama noted in his speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that he wanted to improve relationships with the business community, favoring a lower corporate tax rate while eliminating loopholes. He also restated his wishes to increase spending on education and infrastructure.

In other news, U.S. outstanding installment consumer credit rose for the first time in over two years in December. Total credit outstanding increased by $6.1 billion. It was anticipated to increase by $2.3 billion. It was upwardly revised in November to show a $2 billion increase.

Unless otherwise stated, the index action described in this article relates to the E-mini futures contracts for the respective indices. Actual index action may differ slightly in terms of pattern formation, although the market bias will remain the same.

Toni Hansen is president and co-founder of the Bastiat Group Inc., DBA Trading From Main Street. Toni is one of the most respected technical analysts and traders in the industry. She has been trading and educating new traders, money managers, professional market analysts and traders throughout the boom and bust of the last decade. She has worked in conjunction with some of the world's top financial exchanges. Learn more about Toni Hansen and the educational services she provides through her website at http://www.tonihansen.com.

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About the Author
Toni Hansen

Toni Hansen is president and co-founder of the Bastiat Group, Inc., DBA Trading From Main Street. Toni is one of the most respected technical analysts and traders in the industry. She has been trading and educating new traders, money managers, professional market analysts and traders throughout the boom and bust of the last decade. She has worked in conjunction with some of the world's top financial exchanges. Learn more about Toni Hansen and the educational services she provides through her website at http://www.tonihansen.com.

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