ZLBT Chats

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wall Street and Oil Report >>> What's Rumbling What's Tumbling

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Dow Last Minute Selloff Snap Winning Streak

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,383.38) couldn't stave off the eleventh-hour sell-off, settling on a loss of 19 points, or 0.2%. Energy concern Chevron Corp. (CVX) led the 19 losing blue chips into the red, while financial issues BAC and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) blazed the trail higher.

The blue chip average traded in a low-to-high range of only 65 points. The S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP)were more or less flat as well.

Coming off a strong week, it isn't unreasonable to see the bulls take a breather. Of course, there is a fine line between ignoring lackluster action and complacency.
The indexes are stuck in the middle of nowhere as far as near-term support and resistance. We could see the Dow retrace a couple of hundred points and still be above the recent lows. Likewise, a rally of a couple hundred points would still leave the blue chips below the recent highs. In other words, we could see a bit of back forth before any significant levels are hit.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,108.01) also ended on the south side of breakeven, giving up 1.2 points, or 0.1%. In similar fashion, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,242.03) swallowed a loss of 1.8 points, or 0.1%, thanks to a last-minute surge of selling pressure.


Crude futures edged higher again today, thanks to a refinery strike in France and escalating geopolitical tensions. More specifically, after a sixth day of strikes by Total (TOT) refinery workers, a French petroleum industry body said the country has about one week of fuel supply left before facing a shortage. Meanwhile, also bolstering black gold was news that Iran has earmarked potential sites for 10 new nuclear enrichment plants, with construction beginning as early as this year. By the close, crude oil for March delivery – which expires after the closing bell – added 35 cents to settle at $80.20 per barrel.

March crude oil closed higher on Monday as it extends the rally off this month's low. The high-range close sets the stage for a steady to higher opening on Tuesday. Stochastics and the RSI are overbought but remain bullish signaling that sideways to higher prices are possible near-term.

If March extends this month's rally, the 75% retracement level of the January-February decline crossing at 80.72 is the next upside target. Closes below the 20-day moving average crossing at 75.30 would confirm that a short-term top has been posted.

First resistance is today's high crossing at 80.51. Second resistance is the 75% retracement level of the January-February decline crossing at 80.72.

First support is the 10-day moving average crossing at 76.30. Second support is the 20-day moving average crossing at 75.30.

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