Following Wednesday's closing bell the market once again fell into a trading range afterhours. The index futures congested into the early morning hours on Thursday before offering a third push to the upside on the 15 minute time frame. The initial trigger came out of 2:00 a.m. ET, but continued around 3:30 a.m. Although Wednesday morning's breakout was slower than Tuesday's rally, the push higher into Thursday morning was even more gradual. This change in momentum will make continued upside more difficult ahead of Friday's employment data. We are not likely to experience as strong of a trend day on Thursday, but the 20-day moving averages are also helping serve as resistance following this rally and it's common to see at least intraday reactions to that technical level.
The European Central Bank held its rates meeting on Thursday. Recent speculation suggested that the bank could cut rates once again, but sentiment had once again shifted in favor of them holding steady and both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank left their rates unchanged at 0.50% and 1.50%, respectively. The Bank of England, however, announced a 75 billion pound increase in its asset purchase plan, bringing its total to 275 billion.
In other news, Apple (AAPL) shares were lower in premarket trade following the death of founder Steve Jobs. The news of his passing after a long battle with pancreatic cancer hit the wire early Wednesday evening.
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.