A seemingly never-ending string of negatives finally caught up with major averages Thursday, but the damage was short-lived, as the final hour of trading once again proved kind to shares. Revelations of fraud at Guidant ( GDT), indictments of former Dynegy ( DYN) accountants, simmering concerns about Freddie Mac ( FRE) and another rise in jobless claims conspired to send stock proxies down from their early highs. But widespread selling never materialized, and buyers rushed in late in the day for the fourth straight session. After trading as high as 9236.11 before 10 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined sharply thereafter amid rumors of a large sell program from an overseas investor. The index hit what would prove to be its intraday low of 9116.86 at around 10:30 a.m., then meandered in a tight range until around 3:30 p.m., after which it rallied sharply, ending up 0.1% to 9196.55. Following similar patterns, the S&P 500 closed up 0.1% to 998.51 after trading as high as 1002.74 and as low as 991.27, while the Nasdaq Composite ended up 0.5% to 1653.62 vs. its best of 1661.10 and a nadir of 1640.10. Volume was modest relative to recent action, with 1.4 billion shares traded on the Big Board and 1.7 billion in over-the-counter activity. Advancing stocks bested decliners by slim margins in both. Technically speaking, it's notable that the S&P faltered after trading above 1000 intraday, as was the case last Friday. The 1000 level had been cited by some as a potential resistance point for the index, after it broke through prior resistance in the 965-970 level. Recent history has shown that all such levels eventually are surpassed, and resistance gets weaker every time it's tested. Still, S&P 1000 will remain a closely watched level by followers of technical analysis. I focus on technicals to explain the intraday action, because fundamental developments such as economic data didn't seem to be holding sway. Shares burst higher at the open, despite a higher-than-expected rise in weekly jobless claims and a jump in continuing claims to the highest level since April 1983. Adding insult to injury, jobless claims for the prior week were revised higher.