Monday, November 24, 2008

The Late Day Whipsaw Strikes Again

Other than another psycho 200-point move in the last 10 minutes of trading and a brief pullback following the Obama press conference, the bulls managed a pretty steady uptrend all day long. The financials, fueled by the bailout of Citigroup (C - commentary - Cramer's Take), led the charge, but it was a very broad rally with all major sectors up strongly.

Once again, the final hour of trading produced a big move with the bulls running over any shorts, but then in the 10 minutes we jerked around in a totally arbitrary fashion and whipsawed anyone trying to trade this market.

I'm sure there are traders who are enjoying this sort of market action, but most that I know are feeling extremely frustrated and/or lost. Trading lately is all about the indices and the highly leveraged ETFs, and the volatility is just too high to put much capital at risk.

I wish I had some better advice, but when the DJIA jumps 1,000 points in two days and then we have 200-point swings in the last 10 minutes, there is just not much you can do other than to stay patient and wait for better conditions. This is not a normal market environment, and if you try to force things, you will get hurt. The most important thing is to stay calm and wait it out. Things will eventually change, and we'll be able to be more aggressive, but for now we just have to watch and shake our heads at what is happening.

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