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Making money in stocks ahead of the jobs report

Fiscal Cliff
Jonathan McHugh | Ikon Images | Getty Images

With Friday's all-important job number looming, stocks are likely to stay in a tight range. But bulls and bears alike still have the opportunity to make money.

Equities traded with bullish momentum early Wednesday, as they prepared themselves for the gauntlet of data. Momentum late in trading was supported by the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which showed a "moderate to modest" expansion in spending.

After holding major support at the line in the sand on Tuesday—the 1,629.25 to 1,631.25 level—the S&P closed above the 1,645 to 1,647.50 pocket. And on Wednesday, the S&P finished above the crucial 1,650 level.

(Read more: To taper or not taper—traders watch all things jobs for next Fed move)

All in all, the market has been showing decent momentum after the selling we have seen in recent weeks. It now seems clear that traders overreacted to the Syria concerns that have dominated the headlines.

Still, with nonfarm payrolls coming out on Friday, we do not expect any extraordinary bets to move this market.

(Read more: Marc Faber: Three reasons a plunge is coming)

At this point, the S&P is likely to stick between Wednesday's open at 1,638 and the top part of the range at 1,666. The resistance level at 1,657.50 has held, and bears can look for a slight new high against that level to get short. Bulls, meanwhile, can look to buy a slight new session low into the 1,645 to 1,647.50 pocket

Rich Ilczyszyn is founder and CEO of iiTrader. Follow him on Twitter @iiTrader.

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