Stock market highs hiding 'bloodbath' within

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters

The S&P 500 came within a whisker of a record high only 10 days ago.

It remains within 2 percent of the all-time high reached in the middle of May.

But the index is not telling the whole story. Underneath the surface some serious problems are lurking.

"The S&P is disguising the bloodbath going on within," wrote Roberto Friedlander of Brean Capital in a note Thursday morning. "So while the S&P is within a few percent of its 52-week high most of its members have already corrected i.e., dropped by more than 10 percent from their highs. ... This divergence screams of a short-term peak."

More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 are off 10 percent from their respective 52-week highs, according to the Brean chart below.