Still Struggling to Put Money to Work

 | Feb 15, 2017 | 2:26 PM EST
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The indices continue to levitate to new all-time highs, but what is most fascinating about the action today is that it is difficult to find a human being that is actually buying something. Of course the computers are hard at work, and keeping the upside momentum going, but the individual investor, with idle cash on hand, is having a hard time keeping pace.

The pattern of this action has been amazingly consistent recently. There is a slow start that gives the bears some hope, but then the buyers step in and the upside trend develops. There has only been one weak finish by the S&P 500 so far in 2017 -- and it is at a new all-time high as I write.

Breadth started off firmly negative, but is now running 3,500 to 3,100 positive. That isn't that great, but the indices are the driving forces today, while individual stocks aren't doing much. The number of new highs is back up over yesterday's levels, but is still less than we had three days ago, when the breakout took place.

I've been a seller all day today, and am only semi-joking when I say I'll probably buy them all back tomorrow at higher prices. That seems to be the only way to put money to work in this market.

A few days ago, there was some talk about the very high levels of bullish sentiment. It sure never felt very giddy or euphoric to me -- and it still doesn't. There must be a lot of bullishness out there, and no one is selling, but the theory that buying power dries up when there is too much optimism must be flawed. There may be a lot of bulls, but they still aren't running out of cash.

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