9:00am (EST)

The bulls were under pressure to hold the 200-day MA’s (moving averages) to start the week and managed to get through the session with minimal damage.  Two of the four major averages ended lower but got a lift as water-cooler talk of a Fed-ECB bailout to help save the world hit Wall Street desks.

The choppy session still favors the bears as they look to keep the momentum going but the bulls appear ready to rumble on Fed speak and money printing.

The Dow fell 17 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 12,101.  The blue-chips traded to a low of 12,035 but held support just above 12K before rebounding to a high of 12,143.  A break above 12,200 would be short-term bullish while a dip below 12,000 would obviously be bearish.

The S&P 500 gained a tenth of a point, or 0.01% to close at 1,278.  The index kissed 1,266 before turning around to push 1,283.  A close below 1,275 favors the bears, while a run past 1,300 would get the bulls back on track.

The Nasdaq added a dozen points, or 0.5%, to settle at 2,760.  Tech tested a bottom of 2,726 before bouncing back to reach a peak of 2,769.  The bulls face a huge hurdle at 2,800 while the bears look determined to crack 2,700 this week.

The Russell 2000 dipped two-tenths of a point, or 0.02%, and was last seen at 737.  The small-caps traded down to 729 and will need to hold 720 while resistance at 750 will be a big test for the bulls.  Yesterday’s high was 742.73.

The choppy action has forced us to move a few Hard Stops up on our current trades which will allow us to protect profits if the is a Bernanke Bounce later in the week.  The Fed’s Beige Book will be out on Wednesday and Big Ben speaks on Thursday.

We are still in a choppy market so we have to be quick to take profits when we can.   

Subscribers, check the Members Area for an updated chart for yesterday’s new trade and stay on the lookout for possible Trade Alerts or New Trades after the open if we take action.