Commodities take lead in market action

S&P 500 (Figure 2)

The intraday action in the overall market was rather slow and choppy once again on Monday. Most of the morning was spent within a narrow trading range on the 5 minute time frame. Within this range, a bullish bias developed. First, a slower move into a second morning low held with the 10:45 ET correction period. This brought the indices quickly to the upper end of range where a smaller level of congestion formed on very light volume.

Upper level bases within a larger range such as this typically break higher, particularly when that smaller range experiences diminished volume. This led to main move of the day: a rapid break higher over noon. The remainder of the day was even slower than the morning as the indices congested along highs, although this time the smaller bias within that range was bearish, breaking lower afterhours. The 30-minute charts could still break either way since the momentum has been pulling sharply both ways intraday, but my bias is for further downside this week into stronger support at 50 and 100 day moving averages.

Nasdaq Composite (Figure 3)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) ended the day with a gain of 45.94 points, or 0.36%, and closed at 12,684.68 on Monday. Two-thirds of the Dow's thirty index posted a gain. The top performers were Alcoa (AA) (+2.22%), DuPont (DD) (+1.43%), Caterpillar (CAT) (+1.20%), and Chevron (CVX) (+1.18%). The weakest were Intel (INTC) (-2.11%), Bank of America (BAC) (-1.06%), and Proctor & Gamble (PG) (-0.20%).

The S&P 500 ($SPX) rose 6.09 points, or 0.45%, and closed at 1,346.29. The strongest percentage performer in the index was Sysco Corp. (SYY) (+10.73%), whose earnings beat analysts' expectations. Other top performers were Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG) (+5.53%), Pioneer Nat. Res. (5.43%), and Marathon Oil (MRO) (-5.29%). H&R Block (HRB) (-7.60%) was the weakest percentage performer. Other top decliners included Tyson Foods (TYC) (-6.03%), First Horizon Natl. Corp. (FHN) (-4.55%), and Micron Technology (MU) (-3.77%).

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the session higher by 15.69 points, or 0.55%, on Monday and it closed at 2,843.25. The top percentage performers in the Nasdaq-100 were Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) (+5.70%), Netflix (NFLX) (+3.02%), Illumina Inc. (ILMN) (+2.94%), and Joy Global (JOYG) (+2.88%). The weakest were Micron Tech. (MU) (-3.77%), Staples Inc. (SPLS) (-3.02%), Research In Motion (RIMM) (-2.13%), and Intel (INTC) (-2.11%).

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