The stock market indices ended the week on a down note on options expiration day. Starting off with a bit of a pop to the upside, they then reversed quickly and slid very sharply in the morning. Bouncing late in the morning, they backed and filled for most of the midday and early afternoon and rolled over hard in the last hour, but in the last 30 minutes snapped back with a vengeance and took back a big chunk of the losses.

Net on the day, the Dow closed down 37.19 at 10,741.98, the S&P 500 off 5.93 at 1159.90, and the Nasdaq 100 down 11.51 at 1932.40.

Advance-declines were 21 1/2 to 9 negative on the New York Stock Exchange and about 8 to 5 negative on Nasdaq. Up/down volume was decidedly negative by about 3 to 1 on New York and on heavy total volume (due to options expiration day) of just under 2 billion shares. Nasdaq traded just under 3 billion and had about 4 1/2 to 1 negative ratio. board was narrowly mixed for the most part. Point-plus gainers included InterMune (ITMN) at 40.78 up 1.29 and the Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bear 3x (EDZ) at 46.76 up 1.79.

Other stocks of note on the upside were MedCath Corp. (MDTH) at 12.94 up 79 cents, portfolio position Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO) at 8.05 up 45 cents, Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) at 31.43 up 75 cents, and NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA) at 45.84 up 50 cents.

In the ultra-short sector, the Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3x (FAZ) jumped 30 cents to 14.17, and the Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x (TZA) also 30 cents to 7.41.

On the downside, the Chinese sector was weak, in particular, with point-plus losers being China Agritech (CAGC) at 25.59 down 1.41 and RINO International (RINO) at 22.00 down 1.12.

Other losses of note: Somaxon Pharmaceuticals (SOMX), which jumped dramatically Thursday and made a new high Friday morning at 10.60, closed at 8.25, down 96 cents on a big 35 million share reversal day. Xyratex Ltd. (XRTX) lost 74 cents to 15.82, Dendreon (DNDN) 1.13 to 35.03, Origin Agritech (SEED) 69 cents to 10.08, and China Automotive (CAAS) 71 cents to 19.85.

In the ETF sector the Direxion Financial Bull 3x Shares (FAS) dropped 2.13 to 92.34 and the Direxion Large Cap Bull 3X Shares (BGU) 1.00 to 59.17, along with the U.S. Oil Fund ETF (USO), which gave back 72 cents to 39.20 on a drop in crude oil today.

Stepping back and reviewing the hourly chart patterns, the indices were down sharply in the morning, consolidated most of the day, rolled over hard in the last hour and then snapped back with a vengeance into the close to take back some of the losses. This was definitely the first negative day for the Dow in the last nine sessions, so perhaps the market needed a rest or topping in this zone. We’ll see how it goes next week after Friday’s options expiration day.

Good trading!