Thursday's poor reaction to the European Central Bank had market players a bit worried about Friday's European summit meeting, but with expectations so low the fact that nothing much was accomplished turned out to be irrelevant. Frankly, I suspect that market participants are so tired of the constant focus on Europe that they were anxious to just ignore it for a while and focus on stock-picking instead.
While the point gain was quite good and breadth was around 5:1 positive, volume declined after a technical distribution day on Thursday. Overall conditions look good for a Santa Claus rally, and it would be particularly helpful if Europe shut down for vacation and stopped jerking us around constantly. There are a lot of interesting stocks, and if they moved on their individual merits rather than on macroeconomic concerns, it would make for a much more enjoyable market environment.
I continue to feel that there are many underinvested market players, I'm very confident that there is a big group anxious to rack up relative performance in the last few weeks of trading. If we aren't hit with any major negative news flow out of Europe, I expect to see some chasing.