Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Window Dressing: Marking Up (And Down)

Yesterday, almost everything sold off. There are some folks who question the idea of "window dressing" at the end of a quarter, but if you watched the action today, there was little doubt that some games were being played.

We ran up on very light volume, and then almost exactly at the start of the last hour, the profit-taking kicked in. Traders who had enjoyed the artificial run-up, and who didn't care about mark-ups, wanted to put the profits on the books before the day ended. They did exactly that in an aggressive fashion and took us well off the intraday highs.

We still managed a pretty good point gain, and breadth was better than 2 to 1 positive, but sharp intraday reversals like we saw in the last hour are not bullish. It indicates that buying power is faltering and that recent buyers are looking for exits.

In the bigger scheme of things, the market needs some further consolidation. The mark-up this afternoon was not particularly healthy from a technical standpoint, and we'll be better off in the intermediate term if we consolidate, or even pull back, more.

Better trading is being seen, but time frames are still very short term. While there is a little momentum in places, there are also plenty of fast reversals due to flippers. Hopefully, we will continue to find some underlying support that allows good setups to continue to form.

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