Markets began the week in earnest Monday with benchmarks gaining ground for a fourth consecutive time. The Dow gained .9% and was the best performer more than doubling the advances of the Nasdaq and S&P 500. The price weighted index benefitted from 1% plus moves from names trading over 100 like IBM V BA MMM and HD. Perhaps the indexes still do believe in Santa Claus at their ripe old ages. Groups that failed to keep up with the benign moves today were biotech, materials and energy. The biotech group was weighed upon by GILD which was slammed to the tune of 14%, but did manage to find support near its 200 day SMA. To be fair the technicals were weakening, with the exception of the Thursday-Friday move back comfortably above its 50 day SMA. It did impressively hold the round 100 par figure in mid November through early December. But it lost ground every week in November and trade has been uncharacteristically wide and loose since September. WTI lost more than 3% but astute investors will begin to separate the men from the boys. EOG eked out a very small gain in the sector today as peers like PXD DVN and APA lost close to 2% on the session. That type of divergence is something to take note of as it often will foreshadow strong gains once the group gathers steam. The stock repeatedly found bids at the 83-84 level since December started and it is one of very few in the sector that now resides above its 50 day SMA.

This article requires a Chartsmarter membership. Please click here to join.