A lot of crosscurrents today.
1) The dollar weakness, euro strength on Mario Draghi's failure to increase the size of the ECB's monthly bond buying program was a modest help to some commodities like oil and copper, but no help to commodity stocks. Most oil stocks were down 3 to 5 percent. Steel stocks were down one to two percent, as were other metal stocks like Alcoa down 4 percent. The equity markets seem to believe that the rise in commodity prices was a head fake and would not last.
2) The aggressive move up in bond yields put pressure on interest-rate sensitive stocks. Home builders like Hovananian were down 3 to 6 percent. A number of utilities, like Duke, Exelon, and Public Service Enterprise, hit 52-week lows, though they came off their intraday lows as the day wore on.
4) The impact of any terrorism concerns over the shooting in San Bernardino, California, if any, is hard to quantify, but traders noted that oil had a sharp spike up midday when it was announced that the person responsible for the shootings had traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The bigger questions are, first, is this finally a turn for the dollar, and is this the start of a sustained move up in interest rates? I noted earlier in the day that Draghi may have inadvertently send an early Valentine's Day present to Janet Yellen, in the sense that the dollar weakness, euro strength may make it easier for the Fed to raise rates. Treasury yields were up across the board.
Here's something strange: Banks, which should be a winner today on the higher rates, are down across the board, roughly 1 to 2 percent. Huh?
This may finally be the expected market reaction to the Fed raising rates, as well as to the fact that the "long dollar, short euro" trade was one of the few trades that was working for traders.
There have been some notable failures:
1) Efforts to buy oil stocks at their lows failed throughout the year,
2) and biotech, a huge winner through the middle of the year, has now only modest gains.
The dollar falling apart was the final straw: it "finishes off everyone for the year," one trader said to me.
We are certainly seeing a "degrossing" or reduction in stock holdings across the board today. That's the likely answer.