It remains a muddled picture as some of the market's favorite momentum names continue to act well, as does the NASDAQ index, while other indexes and entire sectors struggle. Volume remains very light as many people are on vacation. Today we had positive action til mid afternoon when some commentary from Defense Sect. Kerry on Syria pushed the market into a risk off mode. Stocks quickly went from moderate gains to losses. How much of this is just algorithmic trading and how much is actual humans reacting - who knows.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said all nations must stand up for accountability on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Ironically a quite bad durable goods order actually helped stocks in the morning as we are back in the "bad news is good news" idea, since bad news means less chance of the Fed backing off from helping the market. Durable goods orders slumped in July, according to the Commerce Department, recording their biggest drop in nearly a year and snapping three straight months of gains.
The S&P 500 broke over its 50 day moving average and was looking to build on that most of the day; unfortunately that late day reversal caused a failure so this is a chart to be closely watched here. The bounce of the past few days has helped to work off extreme oversold conditions from the middle of last week so the potential lies for a new leg down.
The NASDAQ is in a different world, and barely lost ground today while still holding its 20 day moving average. It is a bit strange to see such a disconnect between the two indexes but it happens once or twice a year.
Biotech giant Amgen (AMGN) soared after it said it will acquire cancer drug maker Onyx Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth about $10.4 billion, marking the fifth-largest biotech acquisition ever.
Also hot today and recently have been the 3D printing stocks - Stratasys (SSYS) and 3D Systems (DDD)
We also saw nice action in the casinos stocks; here is Caesers Entertaiment (CZR) - one of the better charts in the recent malaise of the market.
Again there are niche pockets in the market still working, but the general indexes are giving us mixed signals.