Stock market struggles to hold December gains

THURSDAY'S MARKET WRAP-UP

Market Snapshot for January 12, 2011 (10:43 p.m. ET):

Closing Prices: DOW 12,471.02 (+21.57, +0.17%), S&P 500 1,295.50 (+3.02, +0.23%), NASDAQ 2,724.70 (+13.94, +0.51%), Nikkei 225 8,470.50 (+84.91, +1.01%), DAX 6,179.21 (+26.87, +0.44%), FTSE 5,662.42 (-8.40, -0.15%)

OIL 99.57, GOLD 1,637.50, SILVER 29.80

EURO 1.2818, YEN 76.79, BRITISH POUND 1.5335, U.S. DOLLAR INDEX 81.08

Bears Start to Show Their Stuff

The market has been difficult for swingtraders over the past several weeks, and often for daytraders as well. We did start to see better daytrade action once again on Thursday, but the market continued to hold the trading channel of the past several weeks. This has been marked by swings from highs to lows without a strong breakout bias. That, however, is starting to change.

We've been following the market with two possible scenarios: One was the Momentum Reversal (TM) short on the daily charts. The other was a break in the channel on the upside to offer up another leg of buying similar to early December. For that to happen, however, we would have needed to have seen a strong hold on the upper end of the channel over the past day or so. That did not happen. The market has put in a stronger test of daily resistance with yet another slightly higher high and the continuation of overlap in price from one day to the next gave way to strong selling both Thursday and Friday morning.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Figure 1)

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