Energy & Telecom Sector Led Charge
Stocks got off to a rough start this morning, spooked by a sixth straight month-over-month drop in the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. However, the major market indexes clawed their way back into the black around midday, as the bulls viewed consumer sentiment data with rose-colored glasses. More specifically, while the Conference Board's consumer confidence index recorded its largest monthly decline in more than a year in March, the retreat wasn't as steep as analysts predicted. As a result of the Street's glass-half-full approach -- as well as a sector-wide rally among energy and telecom stocks -- the major market indexes spent the rest of the session blazing a steady path north of breakeven.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 12,279.01) recovered from an initial retreat, tacking on 81.1 points, or 0.7%, to end just shy of an intraday peak. Home Depot (HD) led the bullish majority after announcing a healthy stock-buyback plan, while Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) paced the six black sheep with a loss of 2.4%.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,319.44) also climbed out of the red, tacking on 9.3 points, or 0.7%, by the close. However, the broad-market barometer's advance was once again stopped short at 1,320 level. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,756.89) fared the best of its peers, rallying 26.2 points, or nearly 1%, to end at a session high. What's more, the tech-rich COMP finished north of its 50-day moving average -- and the 2,750 level -- for only the second time since March 9.
Crude rebounds from escalating Arab uprising as Syrian Cabinet resign enmass
Crude futures bounced back today, as international powers continued to urge embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi to hit the bricks. In the same vein, geopolitical tension in Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen bolstered black gold during a thinly traded session. By the close, May-dated crude futures added &1.06, or 1.02%, to end at $105.04 per barrel.
May crude oil closed higher on Tuesday as it rebounded off support marked by the 20-day moving average crossing at 103.68. The high-range close sets the stage for a steady to higher opening on Wednesday. Stochastics and the RSI remain neutral to bullish signaling that sideways to higher prices are possible near-term. If May extends the rally off March's low, March's high crossing at 108.25 is the next upside target. Closes below the 10-day moving average crossing at 103.68 would signal that a short-term top has been posted. First resistance is last Thursday's high crossing at 106.69. Second resistance is March's high crossing at 108.25. First support is the 10-day moving average crossing at 103.68. Second support is March's low crossing at 97.02.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow closed higher on Tuesday as it extends the rally off March's low. The high-range close sets the stage for a steady to higher opening on Wednesday.
Stochastics and the RSI are overbought but remain bullish signaling that sideways to higher prices are possible near-term.
If the Dow extends the aforementioned rally, February's high crossing at 12,391 is the next upside target. Closes below the 10-day moving average crossing at 12,025 are needed to confirm that a short-term low has been posted.
First resistance is today's high crossing at 12,280.
Second resistance is February's high crossing at 12,391.
First support is the 20-day moving average crossing at 12,057.
Second support is the 10-day moving average crossing at 12,025.