Interest rates on the rise ahead of announcement

Nasdaq Composite (Figure 3)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) had a gain of 32.85 points, or 0.26%, and closed at 12,426.75 on Wednesday. Twenty-one of the Dow's thirty index components posted a gain. The top performers were Cisco Systems (CSCO) (+4.94%), American Express (AXP) (+2.30%), JP Morgan Chase (JPM) (+2.28%), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). The weakest were Caterpillar (CAT) (-1.17%), Pfizer (PFE) (-0.78%), Chevron Corp. (CVX) (-0.61%), and Disney (DIS) (-0.38%).

The S&P 500 ($SPX) rose 2.91 points, or 0.22%, and closed at 1,335.54. The leaders were the semiconductors, computer hardware, financials, and the utilities. The strongest percentage performers in the index on Wednesday were Cisco Systems (CSCO) (+4.94%), Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) (+4.27%), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) (+3.95%), Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) (+3.90%), and Best Buy (BBY) (+3.88%). Energy, metals, and airlines were all lower. The weakest individual performer was Monsanto (MON) (-5.67%). Monsanto (MON) posted earnings on Wednesday, but it missed estimates and announced that it would not be raising prices despite increased costs. Corn prices alone have more than doubled over the course of the past year. Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) (-3.70%), Massey Energy Co. (MEE) (-3.53%), and Cablevision Sys. (CVC) (-3.27%) were other top losers.

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the session higher by 8.63 points, or 0.31%, on Tuesday and it closed at 2,799.82.The strongest performers were Cisco Systems (CSCO) (+4.94%), Broadcom (BRCM) (+3.90%), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) (+3.84%), and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) (+3.46%). Cisco (CSCO) and Microsoft (MSFT) will both gain weigh in the Nasdaq-100 as of May 1st, whereas Apple's (AAPL) influence will diminish. The weakest performers in the index were Citrix Systems (CTXS) (-3.27%), Baidu (BIDU) (-3.11%), and Whole Foods (WFMI) (-2.92%).

As we head into Thursday's session, the market is still slowing on the 60-minute charts like it was as the week began. This has been favorable for many reversal strategies off highs on that time frame. I'm continuing to favor this action into the weekend, although a number of individual securities are still displaying strength, which has created a very mixed market that is likely to remain so over the next several days.

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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