Wednesday, December 24, 2014

NASDAQ limps into the holidays

NASDAQ had a good surge last week, but now people are honestly wondering what's next. It had a nice pop at the open yesterday,, but immediately headed south and stayed there for the rest of the session. The bad news was that there was no enthusiasm for buying, but the good news was that there was no real selling after that initial decline. Superficially, this looks like traditional consolidation after an advance. There was also a bit of "sector rotation", with the Dow and S&P 500 rising even as NASDAQ fell.

It would be quite fair for NASDAQ to consolidate further after the surge last week, but the slow-trading of a holiday week make it difficult to sense the underlying trend that will continue in the first week of January once the holiday weeks are out of the way.

NASDAQ futures are up modestly, suggesting a modest recovery pop at the open, but whether that rise sticks and continues after the opening pop or reverses and people sell into the rally is a coin flip even in a normal week.

Oil (OIL) remains volatile, in a trading range around $55. It may test the lower edge of that trading range - or not - but all of this is inconsequential during a slow-trading holiday week.

I did sell some of my Twitter (TWTR) that I had bought on the dip for a 5% gain. That's just "side trading" separate from my long-term bet on the company.

I'm considering some biotech stocks for 2015, but haven't made any firm decisions yet. My current proposed list is: Amgen (AMGN), Celgene (CELG), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Pfizer (PFE). I'd appreciate any feedback for additions or removals from that list. Thanks!

-- Jack Krupansky


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