This is the daily notebook of Mike Santoli, CNBC's senior markets commentator, with ideas about trends, stocks and market statistics. The market is making the case that Thursday's rare, sharp upside reversal meant something — even if it can't be seen for sure as decisive. The bounce from there represents a bit of a stand at the very long-term 200-week moving average level for the S & P 500 , with sentiment dour, investor tactical positioning profoundly defensive, seasonal effects brighter and earnings season looking OK in the early going relative to muted expectations. Charitably but not implausibly, one can still see the recent action as a stiff retest of the mid-June lows in the context of a messy, risk-beset attempted at a bottom. There has been no net downside since June 16 even with yields higher, earnings expectations slipping and recession anticipation becoming entrenched. It goes without saying no one knows if this will succeed and of course the "Don't fight the Fed" rule in a choppy economy still applies. Every good rally for nine months has eventually become a great chance to sell. And the S & P has not even bounced back to Friday morning's high at this point, so it could be simply a bit more noisy, untrustworthy action. Yet without making a grand call, here are some relevant range boundaries in play. No rally really wins much credibility unless/until it carries beyond 3,900 and perhaps takes another shot at the 200-day average that thwarted the summer rebound (now around 4,150). Bank of America technical strategist Stephen Suttmeier noted that past cyclical bear markets within longer-term "secular bull" phases have featured a breach of this 200-week average before finding footing for an eventual further advance. And perhaps Monday's rip shows that the bear case in the short term hinged in part on something blowing up in the global market landscape, with the UK rethink on fiscal stimulus and massive collapse in UK bond yields reducing immediate blowup risk and dragging U.S. yields lower relieves some of the pressure. No telling how long the market can remain accident-free. On the subject of positioning, Renaissance Macro noted commercial dealers – the smart-money market makers that take the other side of the public's speculative bets – are now quite long Nasdaq 100 index futures . Past instances haven't always coincided with a market low but the risk-reward tends to be better than average in the near term when this is the case. Bank of America earnings were a decent beat and, perhaps more relevant to the broader market, show a consumer who retains a decent capacity to absorb higher prices, maintain spending and add more borrowing without much stress. Financials have been improving relative to the broad market for two months, and are getting an extra kick here. A lot of the strength is in insurance but banks now reviving a bit. Tricky because the stocks appear quite cheap and are navigating the slowdown OK for now, but credit pressures should continue to build and the stocks will remain captive to "recession is coming" sentiment long as it lasts. This market has many issues, but the valuation of the typical stock is no longer one of the top ones. Here we see year-ahead P/E ratios for the S & P 500, equal-weighted S & P 500 (back near late-2018 lows) and S & P 600 Small Cap (near Covid crash low). The near-universal pushback to this observation is that earnings forecasts are too high after the third quarter. Probably so. But year-ahead forecasts are often "too high" even in normal times and compressed P/Es result, in part, from the market understanding the downside risk to earnings. Some also show that small-caps as a group have ben "over-earning" relative to long-term profit trends in recent years, placing even more air under their earnings outlooks. We'll see. Market breadth is near positive extremes, 95% upside volume on the NYSE. If it holds, some observers will view such a thrust as potentially significant. Credit markets are firming, though have been under appreciable pressure lately. VIX coming in a full point, even with the typical Monday upside bias, but remains agitated. Mainly the extreme volatility in bonds and currencies keeping options premiums juiced, plus the fact that a 2.5% index rally reflects a still-unsettled tape.