Indices Stair-Step Higher
By Harry Boxer,

The stock market indices started out with a drop on lower futures this morning and that was it. They turned right around, rallied in a 5-wave advance for the rest of the session, and only in the last half hour did they pull back to pair the gains but still had a very strong session today as they stair-stepped their way higher.

Net on the day the Dow closed at 10,785.80, up 43.91, and at one point was over 10,800. The S&P 500 gained 5.91 to 1165.80 with a high of nearly 1168 today. The Nasdaq 100 was up 17.16 to 1949.50, with a high of 1956.50. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOXX) had a strong session up 8.58, or almost 2 1/2%, to 364.25.

Advance-declines were positive by 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange and a like amount on Nasdaq. However, volume was quite low on New York at 930 million shares although that was a 2 1/2 to 1 positive ratio. Up/down volume on Nasdaq was just under 3 to 1 positive, and traded 2 1/3 billion today. board was mostly higher. There was a mixed picture however. Point-plus gainers include Dendreon Corp. (DNDN) at 36.45 up 1.42, the Direxion Financial Bull 3x Shares (FAS) at 94 even up 1.66, and the Direxion Daily Large Cap Bull 3X Shares (BGU) at 60.30 up 1.13. Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) had a very strong session today at 13.47 up 1.01, and Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO) advanced .41 to 8.46.

Other stocks of note were Map Pharmaceuticals (MAPP) at 16.67 up 62 cents, Incyte Pharmaceuticals at 13.19 up 53 cents, and InterMune (ITMN) at 41.70 up 92 cents.

An otherwise strong pharmaceutical group also included a gain of 45 cents for Amylin Pharmaceutical (AMLN) at 22.94, and 20 cents for Alkermes (ALKS) at 13.14.

Sketchers (SKX) at 33.94 was up 93 cents today, Pixelworks (PXLW) at 5.10 up 33 cents, China Agritech (CAGC) at 26 even up 41 cents, and China Automotive (CAAS) at 20.19 up 34 cents.

On the downside the only point-plus loser on the board was American International Group (AIG) down 1.41 to 33.39.

Telestone Technologies (TSTC) was down 59 cents to 16.25. In the ETF sector the Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bear 3x (EDZ) fell 56 cents to 46.20, the Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x (TZA) lost 32 cents to 7.09, the Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3x (FAZ) lost 24 cents to 13.93 and the Direxion Daily Large Cap Bear 3x (BGZ) was down 25 cents to 14.15.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices were down at the opening and then up the rest of the day on a stair-step 5-wave rally. Only the last half-hour pullback prevented them from closing at the highs for the day. Even with this morning’s dip below support, the rally was able to turn it around and close on a very positive note today with new 2010 highs on the Nasdaq 100.

Good trading!