1) Over the weekend, as traders pondered the start of the year, much was made of the fact that only one of the ten sectors in the S&P 500 is up so far in the New Year: Financials.
It's true that a small number of big cap-names are doing well in 2014:
Bank of America up 5.4 percent;
Citigroup up 2.5 percent;
Goldman Sachs up 0.5 percent;
Morgan Stanley up 0.5 percent;
JP Morgan up 0.3 percent;
Some of this is clearly based on expectations of a steeper yield curve, and perhaps on more mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and leveraged buyout activity. Still, financial sector names had a good year, and much of this is already anticipated.
But it's a small group. Only 22 of the 81 stocks in the financial sector are positive. Most insurance companies are down, as are most regional banks. Outside of the large-caps above, there's a smattering of REITs in the green:
AvalonBay up 1.3 percent;
Boston Properties up 1.2 percent;
Simon Property Group up 1.2 percent;
Equity Residential up 1.1 percent;
Kimco Realty up 1.0 percent;
Vornado up 0.9 percent;
Prologis up 0.8 percent;
What do they have in common? They are the biggest companies in the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) space. In fact, they are 7 of the 10 largest REITs by market capitalization that is in the Vanguard REIT Index Fund.
Again, I get it: as interest rates rise, the cap rates rise, which increases the value of some of these properties. But that also seems priced in.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani