Thursday, August 14, 2008

A strong dollar and weak commodities helped the bulls pile up some points, but volume was anemic, and there continues to be quite a bit of choppiness.

The trading is a lot tougher than the indices indicate. I continue to hear a lot of complaints from traders who are getting whipsawed in positions. Its been a market for quick trades. Building positions has been tough, as the sectors that lead one day tend to reverse the next. The heart of the problem is that market players are very low on trust and they are very quick to sell.

Even with the choppiness, the bulls do have the momentum going and they are squeezing the shorts and sucking in some idle cash from the sidelines. Many are absolutely convinced that the bear market is ending as oil comes down, the dollar finds a bottom, and the rest of the world begins to suffer like we already have.

As I've hopefully made clear, I believe this is just another bear market bounce and we have another down leg coming in the near future. The lack of volume on the move today is getting us close to the short-term top, but the key it to not be overly anticipatory but to wait for things to actually show some cracks before you press the short side.

Soft oil is making some folks complacent as you can see from the VIX.

It is a confusing market no matter what your big-picture thinking is, and we have to be very careful about being too certain about anything.

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