The morning futures indicated an ugly day, but turned out to be a headfake (again). The market didn't like the flu news (hey everybody - WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS REGULARLY!!!!) or the incredibly insensitive "photo op" featuring what looked like Air Force One and a military plane - Someone should be fired immediately for that unannounced disaster.
Plus the late day action was crazy once again as five big swings took traders on a wild ride in the final 60 minutes, but in the end, each of the major indices closed just barely off the lows of the day with average losses of 0.84% on breadth that was right around 2:1 to the negative. With BIDU set to report their earnings this evening, big-cap tech was able to show a skosh of relative strength, but none of the cyclical sectors was able to close the day in the green.
It’s often uncanny how, when the market is ripe for some consolidation after a good run, some bit of news comes along to act as a catalyst, and today it was the influenza pandemic fears (very irrational, but that will be realized later). So, while the news channels were busy digging up footage of folks in big cities wearing surgical masks, investors were focused on bidding health related stocks higher.
Now that most of the big earnings reports are out, market players will be able to begin focusing on individual stocks. With the indices basing out here near recent highs - action that will ultimately be necessary if we are to see further improvement as we move forward - hopefully that will turn out to be the case.