US stock indexes end 2011 in a draw

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the session lower by 8.59 points, or 0.33%, on Friday and it closed at 2,605.15. The strongest performers in the Nasdaq-100 ($NDX) Seagate Tech. (STX) (+3.47%), First Solar (FSLR) (+2.74%), and Baidu (BIDU) (+1.53%). Only six components posted a loss. The weakest were Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) (-3.4%), Fossil Inc. (FOSL) (-3.36%), and Ross Stores (ROST) (-2.12%).

The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) ended the year with a loss of 1.8%. It's 2011 winners were led by Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Alexision Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), and Hansen Natural (HANS). The top decliners were Research In Motion (RIMM), First Solar (FSLR), and Netflix (NFLX).

Nasdaq Composite (Figure 3)

Busy Data Week Ahead

It was a rather unexciting week on the data front this past week, but that's about to change. Despite the shortened trading week, it's a busy one for economic reports. The biggie in the U.S. this week will be December's unemployment and nonfarm payrolls report on Friday, but a number of large retailers will be reporting their December sales this week as well. Those to watch on Thursday include Costco Wholesale (COST), Macy's (M), Nordstrom (JWN), and Target (TGT). These will be watched closely for signs of just how thrifty Americans have been this holiday season after a year of continued economic struggles.

Also out this week will be the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Index and the Commerce Department's report on construction spending for December on Tuesday, as well as the FOMC minutes from the December 3 meeting of the Fed. December auto sales come out on Wednesday. The ISM nonmanufacturing index for December then follows on Thursday.

More Resistance Ahead!

As far as the technicals are concerned, Tuesday's upside breakout now places the next level of resistance at July's highs. The Dow is the closest to testing this level and this test will likely slow the upside. The S&P 500 is next. A test in that index should lead to an even greater daily to weekly correction. The same goes for the Nasdaq, which just broke out of a triangle on the daily time frame and whose July highs are comparable to those hit in lat October and early November.

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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