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Financials a standout despite narrow trading range

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Strange day...breadth negative all day, all major indices moving in a very narrow range, volume lighter.

There is some selective strength: The most positive thing today is financials. The Financials ETF (XLF) is close to its January highs...and Bank of America (BAC) has put in a monster move, up three percent today, and five percent over the past two days.

The Fed Beige Book complained of severe weather impact throughout the U.S. economy. So essentially ALL data on February has been thrown out...none of it matters...ISM Services weak today, ADP not great either...but it doesn't matter. It's weather.

And this is what will happen on Friday with the Jobs report: They will throw it out if it's bad because of weather, but push markets up if it's good.

"You can't have 'one off' explanations month after month after month, quarter after quarter," one hedge-fund trader said to me today. "Monday was a sharp day down, Tuesday was a sharp move up, today we went sideways and consolidated, looking for a catalyst to spur the next move."

So it doesn't matter (the Feb data) unlessand until, the March data doesn't improve precipitously.


By CNBC's Bob Pisani

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    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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