Both the NYSE and the Nasdaq saw the lightest volume of the year by a fair margin, but that didn't trigger much selling. We dipped slightly after the gap-up open, but we plodded back up and went out on a high note with the indices mixed. Breadth was poor, with oil and commodity-related plays pulling back, but INTC and other technology helped to make up for it. Overall, it wasn't a very interesting day, but it wasn't bad either.
Technically, after the big jump last week, we needed to consolidate, and we did it in ideal fashion today on very light volume. Market players were in no rush at all to exit, and that suggests that they will be ready to make another upside try pretty quickly.
We have plenty of earnings to digest that will move many individual stocks, but the Ben Bernanke news conference on Wednesday is likely to be the next big market catalyst. I don't expect that he there are going to be any big surprises, but the event itself is the sort of thing that will trigger some moves regardless.
Overall, the market is in good shape technically, and it's probably a positive that there are so many bears ready to paint a negative fundamental and economic picture. The pessimists have some great arguments, but that has been the case for a very long time, and as we've learned often, negatives don't matter until the market decides that they do.