The benchmark indices opened flat on Tuesday, December 19. Nifty was at 21,410.45, down by 8.20 pts or 0.04 per cent as of 9:37 am, while the BSE Sensex was at 71,318.48, up by 3.39 pts or 0 per cent as of 9:35 am.

Commenting on the slow market movement, Dr. V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said, “The market is likely to move into a consolidation phase as the Christmas holidays and the New Year approach. A period of consolidation after the sharp run-up of the last two weeks is desirable, since it will make the market healthy.”

An analyst at Prabhudas Lilladher said major support would be positioned near 21000 levels from here on. “With the overall bias and sentiment strong, we anticipate upward movement in the coming days, once a breach above 21500 zone is confirmed. The support for the day is seen at 21300, while resistance is seen at 21,550,” said Vaishali Parekh, Vice-President – Technical Research, Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt.

Meanwhile, according to Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, a slow decline to 21,360-320 is expected, but if that region holds, expect upswings again. An upside marker may be placed at 21,440, a breach of which could put 21,600/660 back in the horizon. 

“Instead of rushing to buy, investors can buy on dips. It would be risky to chase overvalued mid and small caps, which have run up too much, too fast, on retail investor exuberance. Investors can buy high-quality large caps on dips. Another pocket of safety is PSU banks, which are attractively valued.

The next bout of buying by institutions is likely to begin in the early days of the New Year,” Vijayakumar added.

Observing that PSBs have delivered a strong performance since FY22, with the Nifty PSU Bank Index outperforming the Nifty-50/Bank Nifty by 87 per cent/ 78 per cent, analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services (MOFSL), said, “We introduce FY26E and roll-forward target prices for our PSBs’ coverage universe. We, thus, revise our TP for SBI (₹800), BoB (₹280), INBK (₹525), UNBK (₹150), CBK (₹550), PNB (₹90). Top picks: SBIN, BOB and CBK.”

Stocks that gained on the NSE at 9:49 am on Tuesday were Apollo Hospitals, Tata Consumers, Nestle India,ONGC and Coal India. Meanwhile, stocks such as Adani Enterprises, Hero Motocorp, Tata Consultancy Services, Bajaj Finserv and Hindalco were trading negative.

On the BSE, 3,138 stocks were traded, of which 1,754 advanced, 1,275 declined and 109 were unchanged as of 9:54 am.

The Siemens stock was down by 1.43 per cent on the NSE, trading at ₹4,080 as of 9:54 am, after the company approved a proposed demerger of its energy business into a separate unit. The Ambuja Cement stock declined by 1.07 per cent on the NSE, at ₹520.05 as of 9:57 am. The company had announced that it would invest ₹6,000 crore in green power.