The VIX could put in a triple bottom, and this would be a concern for the short term.
Gold continues to break down.
I believe that today is an option expiration day for gold, which is further adding to the commodity's volatility.
Strong results from European banks provided a boost for U.S. banks this morning.
If it weren't for the strong earnings results for European banks overnight (giving the U.S. banks a bid), the market would likely have traded somewhat lower today after several days of stellar performance.
U.S. July consumer confidence disappointed again at 50.4 vs. 54.3.
Bears/shorts are trapped, and bulls are emboldened in a one-way market importantly influenced by high-frequency strategies and algorithms that accentuate the trend (in either direction).
Having said that, and as I have written, there remains enough ambiguity to the duration and depth of the current domestic soft patch and with the emergence of a number of nontraditional headwinds, the upside to the expected second-half trading range is swiftly appearing in sight (with the S&P 500 around 1,150).