Here's what happened today:
First, the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 are down three days in a row, but only one percent off their historic highs. Internals are not inspiring: Breadth has been poor for days (three-to-two declining/advancing stocks today), and more protection is being bought, since the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has popped to a one-and-a-half month high.
Defensive stocks like Consumer Staples and Utilities led the market.
Bottom line: This looks a lot like some traders are trying to lock in a part of their gains for the year.
Regardless: Down one percent after being up 26 percent for the year (for the S&P) is not unreasonable.
Second, after a great run, Europe was down big for a second day...France down 2.65 percent, for example, had its biggest drop since June. But Europe as a whole is up almost 25 percent since July!
Last, hot money going into Japan to chasing the six-year highs, using the WisdomTree Japan Hedged ETF (DXJ). WisdomTree plans to launch five new currency-hedged Japan sector ETFs, covering financials, real estate, capital goods, healthcare, and tech.