Stock indexes showing cracks in rally

MONDAY'S MARKET WRAP-UP

Market Snapshot for January 23, 2011 (6:23 p.m. ET):

Closing Prices: DOW 12,708.82 (-11.66, -0.09%), S&P 500 1,316.00 (+0.62, +0.05%), NASDAQ 2,784.17 (-2.53, -0.09%), Nikkei 225 8,778.96 (+13.06, +0.15%), DAX 6,436.62 (+32.23, +0.5%), FTSE 5,782.56 (+54.01, +0.94%)

OIL 99.65, GOLD 1,675.20, SILVER 32.34

EURO 1.2989, YEN 77.01, BRITISH POUND 1.5543, U.S. DOLLAR INDEX 80.055

Bulls Beware

The market has been plodding higher over the past several weeks and despite the lack of stellar, single-session runs, the bulls have fought hard to hold onto those gains. As we head into Tuesday morning, however, the cracks in the rally are beginning to show. The index futures had been trading in a range from the Friday and broke out to the upside Monday morning in premarket trade. Compared to the rally Thursday and into Friday morning, however, the breakout was second-rate.

The indices held resistance at the 10:15 a.m. ET correction period and pulled back strongly throughout the remainder of the morning. It wasn't until noon that they managed to find support. Unfortunately, that support level was the lower end of that previous congestion on the 15 minute charts. This meant that the pace of the morning selloff was now stronger overall than the earlier morning breakout. It made it difficult for the bulls to pull the market higher once again to allow for another change in momentum and a continuation of the breakout into Tuesday morning. Instead, the slower afternoon upside resulted in further selling afterhours and into premarket trade on Tuesday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Figure 1)

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