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Sector Watch, Thursday, 03/15/2001

Wednesday’s decline took out 10 support levels. 9 of those indices were able to rally back above their support alerts. Lowering Support (DOW, SPX, OEX, NWX, INX, BIX, IUX, RLX HCX, XAL).

Broad Market Sym Last Support Posture Resistance Alert
Dow Jones 30 DOW 10,031 9,850 10,900
S&P 500 SPX 1,174 1,150 1,270
NASD Comp COMPX 1,941 1,900 2,620  
S&P 100 OEX 601 580 660
Russell 2000 RUT 452 450 500  
NASD 100 NDX 1,698 1,650 2,150  
High Tech MSH 547 545 645  
Technology Sym Last Support Posture Resistance Alert
Biotech BTK 502 470 600  
Hardware XCI 765 740 890  
Software GSO 183 175 255  
Semiconductor SOX 571 515 670  
Networking NWX 472 460 585
Internet INX 157 150 200
Finance Sym Last Support Posture Resistance Alert
Banking BIX 622 590 660
Brokerage XBD 467 445 555  
Insurance IUX 708 680 780
Other Sym Last Support Posture Resistance Alert
Retail RLX 836 815 915
Drug DRG 379 370 425  
Healthcare HCX 788 770 850
Airline XAL 142 135 157
Oil & Gas OIX 312 298 335  

Sector Watch Description

The Sector Watch is a tool that has been designed to give you a snapshot glance of where the major market sector and indices are headed. The goal is for a visual representation within a specific area to help in gauging future movement. The description of each column is as follows.

SYM - This is the symbol that many charting services use for the corresponding sector.

LAST - Last trade value for the corresponding sector at 4:00 EST on the day (upper right corner) of the report.

SUPPORT - A level over the past three weeks where demand has been greater than or equal to supply. If this level were broken it could signal a bearish tone toward the sector/group. When support areas are broken, we then look for what could be the next level of support for that particular sector.

POSTURE - A graphical representation of a particular range that a sector is trading in. Traders should monitor this area against previous reports. Those sectors showing increasing demand should be moving from support to resistance. Conversely, those sectors where supply is greater should be moving down from resistance to support.

RESISTANCE - A level where supply has been greater than or equal to demand. If this level were broken it could signal a bullish tone toward the sector/group. When resistance areas are broken, we then look for what could be the next level of resistance for that particular group.

ALERT - A notification to traders that a previous level of support or resistance was broken and that action may be warranted.

This tool can be useful for bullish and bearish traders. When you've identified a sector that is of interest to you, you can then concentrate on stocks within that sector, thus making for a more focused and alert trader.

We realize that there are different kinds of bullish traders. There are those that like to buy stocks on pullbacks and those that prefer to buy "momentum", stocks that are breaking out of consolidation or to new highs. Whichever strategy you are most comfortable with, the Sector Watch will help you quickly identify the level, within a trading range, where a particular sector is trading.

A bullish trader that prefers to buy "strong stocks" on pullbacks would be most likely to concentrate on a sector they have identified as having a bullish trend, that is currently trading in the lower half of the trading range and closer to a level of support. A bullish trader that prefers to buy "strong stocks" with momentum would focus on those sectors that have been in up-trends, and are trading near key resistance levels, where a significant breakout may occur.

Bearish traders can also benefit from this tool when determining levels at which to sell. There are two types of bearish traders. There are those that attempt to sell rallies and those that sell when a level of support has been broken.

Understanding risk is a concept that many traders and investors have trouble with. Not all sectors consistently move between support and resistance levels. At given times, sectors may tend to stay in the upper half of trading ranges, while others are stuck in a lower range. If you're bullish or bearish on a particular sector, you can use support/resistance levels to help assess and manage risk by implementing the use of stops below/above those levels.


Copyright 2001

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