Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Days like today can be rather frustrating since the only thing that mattered at all was the news out of Europe. What makes it even worse is that the market doesn't even seem to be interpreting the news correctly in many cases.

This morning, the market blasted higher on continued chatter about some sort of quasi-TARP program. There are all sorts of obstacles to actually implementing this strategy, but the market celebrated and was fueled in large part by a high level of skepticism.

Of course, just as the market was hitting the high point of the day, news rolled out that the most recent Greek deal might be in trouble because private investors are balking about the size of the hit they are willing to take. That reversed very swiftly and the market went out near the lows of the day -- and well off the earlier highs.

Despite the sharp reversal, there was still plenty of green on the screens. Breadth was almost 4-to-1 positive and the only major sectors in the red were retail and silver. One odd aspect of the action today was the weakness in some of the big-cap momentum favorites including AAPL, AMZN and CMG. These are stocks that you would normally expect to see lead a window-dressing rally at the end of the quarter, but they were laggards today for some reason that wasn't clear to me.

This is not a market that rewards astute stock picking. The action today demonstrated that very well. It was all about timing the headlines out of Europe and trying to figure out how the market might react. It was a waste of time to even consider fundamentals or charts.

A lot of traders are rooting for Greece to just get it over with and default so that maybe we can have more normal trading once again. Unfortunately, the leadership in Europe seems determined to drag this out as long as they can rather than biting the inevitable bullet.