Sunday, August 7, 2011


If one looks at the close Friday, it sure wasn't impressive given how hard this market was hit Thursday. But if you consider how far down it was in the morning, before news of a possible European Central Bank rescue of Italy and Spain, the intraday swing was impressive.

Volume was huge, which some see as an indication of capitulation selling but others see as a ramp up in computerized and high-frequency trading that feasts on volatility.

What was particularly interesting about the huge surge of volume was that a big chunk of it was in exchange-traded funds. Market players used those vehicles to play the volatility and had little interest in individual stocks. There were relatively few individual stocks with big surges in volume, although some of the 'go to' big-cap names like GOOG and AAPL were more active than usual.

Many individual stocks continued to act quite poorly while the traders pushed around the ETFs.

The bulls took quite a pounding this week, and it does not make for a pretty picture. The most positive thing you can say is that we have overacted to the downside and are likely to see some sort of rebound, but you have to wonder how many folks are going to be looking for exits into strength. Looks like Sunday evening we're getting news of massive ECB intervention in Europe. Monday should be the opposite of dull.