Wednesday, December 21, 2011

After a big day like Tuesday, you had to expect some sort of pullback or consolidation as flippers and "stuckholders" made their exits. Some bad news from ORCL helped the process, but we had an impressive recovery this afternoon, and the NYSE even finished with positive breadth of 1830 to 1181.

For a while, it looked like ORCL was going to take down the entire market. But the broader market eventually was able to separate itself from technology names and that helped improve the mood. The Nasdaq and Nasdaq-100, which are heavily weighted with technology names, did poorly but managed decent comebacks this afternoon.

The tricky thing is the light volume and choppy trading. It was easy to take stops this morning that look quite poor in retrospect, but that is the cost of discipline. In thinner trading around the holidays, it is very easy to be jerked around if you play things too tight.

At this point, if the news flow slows, as it generally does at the end of the year, then we have a good opportunity for some pockets of speculative action to develop.