After a mildly positive morning of trading, the action turned even more sluggish, and we ended with some minor selling pressure. Breadth was slightly negative, with regional banks, biotechnology and oil leading to the downside. There also was some minor strength in semiconductors as market players anticipate earnings tonight from TXN and a number of other small chip plays.
Under the surface, we had some aggressive speculation in low-priced banks and good reaction to earnings from CAT and WHR, but big-cap technology was mixed with GOOG weak, AAPL finally taking a break from its run and strength in PCLN and AMZN. RIMM also reversed hard to the upside following news of new products.
Overall, it was a slight victory for the bears, but it has been so long since they have put any points on the board, it is actually sort of quaint to see a little red. It is a rare negative Monday, but the small losses do little to change the big picture.
We have quite a few earnings reports coming up, but TXN is the only one of notable size. The chip sector will be particularly busy, and it is going to be interesting. INTC helped to get the sector running, and it will be interesting to see if it now follows through.
It was a very interesting day, but a little profit-taking is healthy. In fact, we could use a few more days of it and some consolidation. Sooner or later, it has to happen, but so many people are anxious for it that it just never seems like its going to occur.