Pause as stock market digests news

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) had a loss of 17.90 points, or 0.15%, and closed at 12,018.63 on Tuesday. A third of the Dow's thirty index components posted a gain for the day. The top performer was Verizon (VZ) (+1.34%). It was followed by American Express (AXP) (+0.97%), Boeing (BA) (+0.91%), and Kraft Foods (KFT) (+0.45%). The weakest performers were Bank of America (BAC) (-1.21%), General Electric (GE) (-1.17%), Travelers (TRV) (-1.14%), and Disney (DIS) (-0.91%).

Nasdaq Composite (Figure 3)

The S&P 500 ($SPX) fell 4.61 points, or 0.35%, and closed at 1,293.77. The strongest percentage performers in the index were St. Jude Med. (STJ) (+6.13%), American Tower Corp. (AMT) (+4.53%), Netflix (NFLX) (+4.02%), and Massey Energy Co. (MEE) (+3.17%). The weakest performers were Walgreens (WAG) (-6.58%), Carnival Corp. (CCL) (-4.51%), Urban Outfitters (URBN) (-4.37%), and Marriott Intl. (MAR) (-4.25%).

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the session lower by 8.22 points, or 0.31%, on Tuesday and it closed at 2,683.87. The strongest performers in the Nasdaq -100 were Netflix (NFLX) (+4.02%), Apollo Group (APOL) (+3.01%), Baidu (BIDU) (+2.49%), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) (+1.92%). The weakest performers were Urban Outfitters (URBN) (-4.37%), F5 Networks (FFIV) (-4.11%), CH Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) (-2.88%), and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) (-2.75%).

The continuing conflicts in Northern Africa and the Middle East have kept commodities at the forefront of the market's attention. This week Yemen's leader announced that he planned on stepping down this year, but protesters wish for more immediate action. Meanwhile, fighting continues in Libya where rebel forces have taken approximately half the country. Crude oil for May delivery settled at $104.97 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday.

On the data front, the first half of the week has been focused on real estate. On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. ET the FHFA Housing Price Index showed that home prices once again slid in January. The housing data continues on Wednesday at 7:00 a.m. ET with the MBA Mortgage Index and at 10:00 a.m. ET with the new home sales data.

The earnings docket is light this week, but some names to keep an eye on throughout the remainder of the week are General Mills (GIS) on Wednesday; Best Buy (BBY), GameStop (GME), Lennar (LEN), Oracle (ORCL), and Research In Motion (RIMM) on Thursday; and KBHome (KBH) on Friday.

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.

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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