While the market is still optimistic that a fiscal-cliff deal will be made, market players are growing impatient with the politicians and their public statements. While no one takes the daily attacks too seriously, they extract a toll on players anxious to move on to other matters.
Adding to the gloom, Standards & Poor's has put U.K. debt on watch for a downgrade, and Apple (AAPL) is under pressure again. Breadth is running better than 2-to-1 negative on the NYSE, with precious metals taking a hit and biotechnology seeing reversals.
I've been complaining lately about being handcuffed by this market action, and today is even worse. A negative bias, rather than positive bias, has persisted for weeks. The problem isn't that the market is up or down, but that there isn't any volatility or energy. Volume has been running light and the market keeps drifting.
Until there is real action on this fiscal cliff, this dead action is likely to continue. Just stay disciplined and vigilant. Conditions will change eventually.