For the second day in a row, the indices closed with only minor changes on very light volume. Under the surface, however, there was some classic holiday trading. Yesterday it was the rare earth metals that attracted the hot money. Today it was silver miners in particular, but gold and other metals did very well, too.
Once the theme was identified, the money piled in and produced some very nice moves. That is what you need to focus on to make trading during the slow holiday periods worthwhile.
There just wasn't much of interest outside of the miners. The indices continue to do a very nice job of holding up but, once again, some of the key leadership names such as GOOG, PCLN, CMG and DECK acted poorly.
The combination of leadership names that do nothing and pockets of extreme speculation in stocks that mostly don't have earnings is not a very healthy, but it isn't surprising for this time of year. Seasonality is helping to hold the market together, but I wouldn't get too comfortable with the assumption that this market is not going to have a bout of profit-taking before the year ends.