This is the daily notebook of Mike Santoli, CNBC's senior markets commentator, with ideas about trends, stocks and market statistics. Listless action as cyclicals and value act as a drag in the end-of-earnings-season lull while a clutch of huge Nasdaq tickers hold the indexes near the highs. Crude oil is down. World Covid cases are back on the rise. Bond yields stalled out, and bank stocks getting hit. It seems for now a modest retracing of the global reflation impulse. No sense that this is a game-changing shift, but it's an ebb following a recent flow higher. S & P 500 remains sticky around 4,700 and QQQ is flirting with $400. What should be irrelevant round numbers are made something real when there are big clusters of options exposures at those levels in an expiration week, which is the case right now. This doesn't mean the options flow is the tail that always wags the dog, but in an otherwise quiet tape, all else roughly equal, these things can exert a pull. Firm bid in YTD laggards AAPL and AMZN doing a lot to keep the S & P supported while the majority of stocks pull back and the equal-weighted S & P 500 loses more than half a percent. Been noting all week that the seasonal tailwinds don't blow consistently in the one to two weeks ahead of Thanksgiving, a window for weakness that applies both to the broad market and the Russell 2000 , which is down 1%+ today. Means the current pause isn't too surprising and doesn't undermine the broader sense that strong markets tend to add to gains late in the year. Plenty of technical "systems" pointing to the chance for an upside exhaustion/near-term peak soon, too. No view on that but it's "out there." The stock-bond interplay is noisy to the point such that using smallish moves in yields to explain or decipher the equity action isn't all that helpful. At least that's the case while yields are moving in an orderly way and within the YTD range, and while credit spreads stay fairly tame. Here we see the correlation between S & P and Treasuries is roughly nil over the past three months. Retail earnings continue to deliver a reassuring message about the underlying domestic spending trend, favoring home-related and perhaps benefiting from an early holiday rush. Acute sensitivity to margin issues hitting TGT , but the stock had been up 16% for the quarter so today's pullback not a verdict on the underlying fundamental drivers. The buzzy sectors continue to come in and out of favor, currently deepening the setback in fintech, sports betting sobering up, ROKU cut in half as folks again worry it's a transitional technology. That leaves EVs as the main plaything of the fast money all week, with even that spilling back today after the unstable upside frenzy since the RIVN IPO. Gut checks to speculative groups have been a feature of this bull market all year, helps keep overconfidence from brimming over. Market breadth weak today, 30/70 up/down volume and new 52-week lows outpacing highs on the Nasdaq. Noted already the softness in small-cap and the equal-weight indexes. "Stealth pullback" that leaves the indexes mostly unharmed or internal erosion that will eventually force the benchmarks to succumb? VIX barely noticing the underlying weakness, still in the 16s as the S & P itself has minimal daily moves.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, Nov. 8, 2021.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
This is the daily notebook of Mike Santoli, CNBC's senior markets commentator, with ideas about trends, stocks and market statistics.
- Listless action as cyclicals and value act as a drag in the end-of-earnings-season lull while a clutch of huge Nasdaq tickers hold the indexes near the highs.