What happened? Bernanke and Draghi again stepped up with more monetary easing.
And they are continuing to execute the put option. Bernanke did it last week when he reiterated that it was essential not to begin an exit strategy too early. Draghi did it today when he reiterated rates would remain low.
Central bankers might be able to calm markets--and to influence stock prices--but they cannot, by themselves, trump fundamentals.
I noted this morning that the central problem for stocks is the lack of growth. GDP is close to zero for Q4 2012 and a modest two percent for Q1. If that doesn't improve soon, CEOs are likely to cut jobs again in an effort to sustain earnings.
Today's market action: banks and energy.
Banks up on expectations that all 19 large banks will pass the yearly stress test, and that some - perhapsRegions Financial (RF), SunTrust (STI), Capital One (COF), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) - will announce dividend increases and/or buybacks.
The big worry: much of this anticipation is already priced into banks and that concerns that loan growth may slow will cap the bank stock rally.
Exploration and production stocks in big rally as natural gas has been moving up in the last few days, rallying significantly off its lows of May 2012 ($1.90 then to $3.60 today) so have oil and gas stocks...look at big moves today in Ultra Petroleum (UPL), Concho (CXO), Apache (APA), W&T Offshore (WTI), and others.
The big ETF in this space is the SPDR Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), sitting near its highest levels since last April.
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani