Stock indexes struggle between support, resistance

Market Snapshot for February 6, 2011 (5:50 p.m. ET); Closing Prices:

  • DOW 12,845.13 (-17.10, -0.13%), S&P 500 1,344.33 (-0.57, -0.04%), NASDAQ 2,901.99 (-3.67, -0.13%), Nikkei 225 8,929.20 (-, -%), DAX 6,764.83 (-1.84, -0.03%), FTSE 5,892.20 (-8.87, -0.15%)
  • OIL 96.91, GOLD 1,724.90, SILVER 33.675
  • EURO 1.312, YEN 76.55, BRITISH POUND 1.5814, U.S. DOLLAR INDEX 79.185

Monday was a slow day on Wall Street. And by "slow", I mean one of the slowest non-holiday trading days we've seen in about a decade. The market put in a strong performance on Friday after a favorable reaction to last month's employment data. The U.S. economy added 243,000 new positions in January, while the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3%. The data surge put the indices squarely at resistance by rapidly establishing an equal move compared to Wednesday's morning rally.

By 10:15 a.m. ET most of the gains for the day were already established and the market began to struggle. Even though the indices finished the week at highs, trading in the second half of the morning and the entire afternoon on Friday shifted the momentum of the morning rally and created an exhaustion pattern heading into the weekend.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Figure 1)

The index futures opened lower Sunday evening with Greece once again holding the headlining position. The country once again failed to meet a deadline to negotiate its debt. The news, however, was unsurprising and the pullback into the new week was more likely a technical measure than one driven by this "revelation".

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