Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Not A Dull Market

The old adage about not shorting a dull market applied today. We followed through on yesterday's poor close to start the day, but after a little hesitation the dip buyers stepped up and drove us higher. We even managed a strong finish that took us out at the highs. Breadth was good but volume was poor.

A lot of stocks are being walked up on mediocre volume, which suggests that big funds want to make sure that their key holdings finish the quarter strongly. The window dressing activity tends to slow a day or so before the end of the quarter, so watch for some of the institutional favorites becoming more volatile over the next two days.

This market is causing some real confusion for the bears. Oil is up and the news flow continues to be challenging, yet we cut through technical overhead and drifted higher on light volume. It isn't very logical, but if you want logic you should study algebra rather than trading. The market just isn't a very rational beast at times and you have to recognize that fact if you want to stay ahead of the game.

Once the end-of-the quarter pressure subsides, further upside may be more difficult. But plenty of folks were thinking that last week, just before we broke through 1300 on the S&P 500. It just hasn't paid to try to call a top in this market and that continues to be the case.

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