After last week’s struggles, stocks endured a very volatile day. After a nice pop on the open, stocks gave up those gains and fell to negative territory by late morning. The bulls gathered themselves and staged another rally in the early afternoon, only to run out of steam by the close. The ebb and flow of the trading day illustrates the tug of war between some decent earnings reports and growing concerns over emerging markets weakness. On the domestic front, the new homes sales had been a bright spot until now, as sales of new homes fell in December.

By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 41 points to finish the day at 15,837. The S&P 500 was down 8 to close at 1781. Gold was down $9 to trade at $1255 per ounce, while oil was down $.84 to trade at $95.80 per barrel WTI. It’s difficult to zero in on daily support and resistance levels and risk happens very quickly, but major technicians are looking at 1767 on the S&P as a very important intermediate/longer term level to hold.

This is a big week for earnings, including Apple which reports today after the close. Today, Caterpillar surprised to the upside and helped keep the Dow in positive territory for some of the day. We’ll see if earnings get the attention of traders or are they going to continue to focus on the global macro picture. It should be an interesting week.

Have a nice evening everyone.

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