If you are pining for a simple-to-trade, easy-to-understand market, keep hoping. We had quite a chaotic day with an ugly spike down even though AAPL had a great report last night. We sunk steadily but rallied back above our opening levels for no apparent reason around midday before the traditional jig in the final hour.
While the indices finished solidly in the red, they were not as bad as breadth would indicate. We only had about 1,375 gainers to 4,450 decliners today. Precious metals were the only major group in the green due to some movement in the currency markets. The volatility was mostly a function of financials, which still look terrible overall but managed to jerk things around quite nicely.
GOOG earnings are out and look at first like a "beat." This may be enough for the market at the moment. The stock is up a bit but there doesn't seem to be a high level of excitement. COF also posted terrible earnings, but the stock isn't reacting much, which tells us that no one expected much.
Tomorrow morning is the GE report, which should generate a reaction and influence the financials. The financial sector is a complete mess but as we saw the last couple days, the group can really move the market if the traders jump in. Remember when double-digit declines in the likes of C or BAC would cause panic amongst traders? No more.
The big technical picture is murky at best. While we are still flirting with breaking the December support levels, we are holding above them. That may be enough for now and may even support a decent bounce, but this is a not a particularly pretty picture.