VIX Spikes but Holds 15

The opening rally was immediately sold as the major indexes turned negative about 90 minutes afterwards and faced heavy selling pressure into the second half of action. Volatility tested mid-February resistance levels as the VIX surged nearly 25% intraday but was able to hold the 15 level into the closing bell.

The Russell 2000 remains in a 10-session trading range after sinking 0.9% and testing an intraday low of 1,564. Near-term and upper support at 1,575-1,560 was breached but held by a half-point with a close below 1,550 being a bearish development.

The Dow dropped 0.8% despite making a morning run to 26,155 but was the only index that didn’t clear last Monday’s intraday peak. The 544-point reversal to 25,611 split support at 25,750-25,500 on the close above the former.

The S&P 500 stumbled 0.4% after testing a midday low of 2,767 and closing back below the 2,800 level. Current and upper support at 2,775-2,750 was tripped but held with a close below the latter and the 200-day moving average being a bearish signal.

The Nasdaq gave back 0.2% following the pullback to 7,501 and a 142-point trading range. Near-term and upper support at 7,500-7,450 and the 200-day moving average held with a move below the latter being a bearish signal for additional weakness.

Materials and Real Estate led sector strength after rising 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively.

Healthcare led sector weakness after tumbling 1.3%. Financials and Industrials fell 0.6% and 0.5%.