really, another rotten day for the longs. it was simply impossible to find any real leadership during today’s session. sure, the financials and consumer discretionary sectors sported the biggest gains, but those groups have taken such a beating recently, that a bounce at some point was inevitable. a couple of weeks ago, the market would have loved a stronger dollar and lower oil, but even that wasn’t enough to spur more buying interest given last week’s unemployment number. it was, however, enough to trigger some ugly action in recent momentum groups, including steel, solar, oil, bulk shipping and china-related stocks.
in my opinion, the net result is a market that is struggling to figure out where things are headed. last week, i surmised that the outperformance in the nasdaq might have meant that tech might assume that role and drag the other two averages to intermediate "higher highs." unfortunately, the opposite happened as the dow and the S&P 500 dragged the naz back down.
the bottom line is that the recent deterioration in the indices prompted me to become defensive once again, and that leaves us in the position of having to wait until a new theme emerges.