One of the principles of technical analysis is that consolidation (read: sideways) after a strong up or down move is supportive of the trend.
If you believe that, then you will be somewhat satisfied with today's action. OK, it wasn't a roaring affirmation, but we did get a follow-up to yesterday, with the major indices booking their first 2-day gains in a month.
Modest gains a help to bulls. There was a strong start, a midday selloff as financials were sold off, then a bounce into the close, and a move down right in the last few minutes.
Volume was lighter than yesterday.
Gold has become a counter-indicator for the market. It's clear there is an in-and-out trade going on between gold and stocks in the last few days. Today stock weakness corresponded with strength in gold mid-morning, then as stocks strengthened in the final two hours gold sold off.
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon gave a stellar speech in New York midday, urging everyone to work together and emphatically stating that it was time to stop debating what to do, that the programs were now being put in place and it was time to rally the troops.
Well received by the Street, though it did not have an immediate impact on the markets.
Financials were mixed, with Goldman and Morgan Stanley strong throughout the day, most of the major names up mid single-digits.
Agricultural stocks (fertilizers) were also strong.
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