It is a slow day of action with a slightly negative bias. Breadth is running poorly again with about 2,650 gainers to 3,780 to losers. Most notably, the level of 12-month highs has fallen to around 110. That is a very quick drop in view of the fact that the indices were at all-time highs just two days ago. The phrase "blow-off top" comes to mind when that shift is considered.
The one group showing some life today is biotechnology. That sector led yesterday and is doing well again today. Names such as Cara Therapeutics (CARA) , Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUPH) and Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) are on my radar.
Snap (SNAP) has benefited from the very slow action as it is one stock with some decent movement. There is much talk about its valuation, but I will bet that 95% of the folks buying it today have no interest in the fundamental issues. It's a great short-term trading vehicle and that is all that matters right now.
If you are looking for the momentum king, you'd have to pick Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI) . This stock was extended going into its earnings report and has continued to go straight up following some big numbers and very positive analyst comments. There aren't many other pockets of momentum right now, so stocks like SNAP and AAOI tend to benefit.
While the market action isn't very interesting at the moment, this is the sort of consolidation we need. The pullback yesterday surprised a few folks, especially due to the weak close, but it probably helped to eliminate some of the complacency that has been building for a long time.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be speaking soon and she will be a market mover mainly because there isn't much else going on right now. Market players are going to be listening carefully for any hint as to the timing of the next rate hike. The odds of a hike on March 15 have been building and the market would probably react poorly if Yellen does nothing to dampen that expectation.