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Stocks end mixed with Nasdaq leading the way higher

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Stocks end mixed with Nasdaq leading the way higher

Stocks in the US started off on a weaker note as weaker than expected Chinese export and import data created headwinds for equity markets.  The Asian markets were relatively weak which spilled over into the European session which felt the effects of S&P’s downgrade of Italian debt.  Investors waited the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes which have created headwinds for equity investors over the past few releases.

Stocks were in a holding pattern for most of the AM trading session ahead of the Federal Reserve’s release of their meeting minutes.  The minutes of the June 18-19 Federal Open Market Committee meeting will reflect what investors saw as the first official mention of when Mr. Bernanke said tapering could begin later this year.  Tapering refers to the reduction of purchases of bonds as part of the FOMC’s bond purchase program which has been set up on an open ended basis by the Federal Reserve to spur on employment.

The Fed minutes turned into a non-event as many market pundits believe the hawkishness of recent meeting would be displayed during the meeting.  In fact, the information was relatively neutral which allowed stocks to regain traction and continued to move higher.

The best performing US stock index on Wednesday was the Nasdaq 100 which recaptured the 3000 level for the first time since late May.  The Nasdaq notched up a .55% gain, testing resistance near 3005.  Support is seen near the 50-day moving average near 2958.

Momentum is strong with the MACD printing at its highest levels since late May, and generating a buy signal in early July.  This occurs when the spread (the 12-day moving average minus the 26-day moving average) crosses above the 9-day moving average of the spread.  The RSI is printing near 61 which is on the upper end of the neutral range.

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