Trader Talk

Stocks rally, but not without ridiculous drama

Tracking today's volatility

The rally held for a second day, but not without a ridiculous amount of drama.

You know me, I never judge the markets. Don't yell at the stock market, that's always been my motto.

But today? The Dow went up 2 percent in the last 45 minutes.

THAT, is ridiculous.

Once again, looking at a chart of the Dow really doesn't do justice. This is the way to look at the day:

Open gap—up 200
Mid morning rally—up 180
Mid-afternoon swoon—down 300
Late-day rally—up 330

Traders bought stocks hand over fist. There were seven stocks advancing for every one declining.

Volume was heavy once again, though not as strong as early in the week.

The most widely held names—Apple, Microsoft, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Pfizer—were all up 2 to 3 percent.

There was clearly some short covering. Heavily shorted names like Tidewater, Chesapeake, Continental Resources, US Steel, AKSteel, and Century Aluminum were up double-digits.

A 10 percent rise in crude made energy stocks the star performer.

If you just look at the 300-point rise in the Dow, coupled with yesterday's better-than-600-point rally, you might be tempted to say that we have turned the corner. But the crazy intraday moves do not inspire confidence. We need to see a few boring August days before traders believe the worst is behind us.