What’s Happening in the Markets
So Far in 2011

Technial commentary on four major indices, including the NASDAQ, DOW, S&P 500, and Russell 2000.The first week of 2011 was positive; this could signal additional gains for January and the rest of the year.

The near-term technical picture is bullish on above-average Relative Strength, but you should watch the overbought technical condition. Sentiment continues to be bullish.

The DOW, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell 2000 are all above their previous chart highs.

Technology is tops early in 2011, with the NASDAQ up 2.15% at over 2,700 as of last Thursday. Small-caps are the laggards, up 1.02%, and trailing both the DOW and S&P 500.

Watch the trading volume, which has been light over the last few weeks but saw some life over the past three sessions. You want to see higher volume on up days.

Be careful, as the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is trading below 18, a sign of a relaxation amongst traders.

As I mentioned, investor sentiment continues to be bullish.

The trend of the NYSE new-high/new-low (NHNL) indicator had been edging higher, with 120 of the last 126 sessions bullish. The near-term trend is positive.

In the technology area, investor sentiment on the NASDAQ has been mixed since May 6, but 79 of the last 84 sessions have been bullish.

As long as sentiment continues to be bullish, stocks will attract buying support. What we want to see is higher trading volume as the market advances higher; otherwise, it may set up for a negative divergence between price and volume.

I have provided some technical commentary on the four key indices I follow based on data as of January 6.

NASDAQ

The near-term technical picture is moderately bullish, with above-neutral Relative Strength (RS), so there could be more upside gains in the near term. The index is above 2,600 and broke 2,700 last week, remaining well above its chart top of 2,320.

The NASDAQ is holding above its 50-day moving average (MA) of 2,569 and 200-day MA of 2,373. The 50-day MA is above the 200-day MA.

Watch, as the index is overbought.

DOW

The near-term technical picture for the DOW is moderately bullish with above-neutral RS, so there could be additional gains in the near term.

The index is above its 50-day MA of 11,307, which is above its 200-day MA of 10,737, and it’s showing a bullish golden cross.

Watch, as the index is overbought.

S&P 500

In the broader market, the near-term technical signals for the S&P 500 are moderately bullish on above-neutral RS, so there could be more gains.

The break at 1,200 was bullish. The index is above its 50-dayMA of 1,215 and 200-day MA of 1,146. The 50-day MA is above its 200-day MA.

Watch, as the index is overbought.

RUSSELL 2000

Unlike in 2010, small-caps are the laggards early on this year, but I expect this to change as we move along.

The near-term picture for the Russell 2000 is moderately bullish on above-neutral RS, so watch for some more gains. The index trades with the economy.

The index is above its 50-day MA of 727 and the 200-day MA of 677.

Watch, as the index is overbought.