Thin holiday trading can be fun when it has a positive bias, but when the sellers dominate like they did today it can be downright dismal. We had an early afternoon bounce attempt that fizzled quickly, and we drifted lower into the close. That wiped out the last two days of gains and put the S&P 500 back in the red for the year.
Although volume was light, it picked up over yesterday and was quite broad. It is a technical distribution day, which puts the S&P 500 back under the 200-day simple moving average and gives us a failed breakout.
We have a variety of agendas at work at the end of the year and stocks aren't moving on their individual merits. It is all about taxes, mark-ups and position. The thin trading allows a good amount of manipulation as well.