If you just looked at some of the big-cap momentum favorites today, like AAPL, NFLX, AMZN, VMW, LULU and SINA, you would think the market was slaughtered today, but that wasn't the case at all.
Despite some very glaring weakness in key names, the indices racked up some good-sized gains, breadth was around 2 to 1 positive, and many small-caps performed very well. It was feast or famine, depending on whether you focused on big-cap momentum or small-cap technical setups.
The mixed action was probably due in part to mixed feelings about what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may have to say tomorrow. Bernanke has tended to be very market-friendly, and he is unlikely to say anything that will really hit the market, but if he isn't going to announce QE3, that is a negative, no matter how it is spun. This market has been living on Fed-induced liquidity for a very long time, and if the spigot is turned off, there is no way to regard it as a positive, especially with economic and job growth still so tepid.
Earnings reports are hitting, and so far the big ones are mostly negative. AMZN, ALTR and APKT are trading down, although the numbers were slightly ahead. We have a little selling pressure on the indices after hours, but at this point it is all about the Fed tomorrow.