It is a nice spring Friday in most parts of the country and I suspect many market players have booked the quarter and are enjoying a little respite. It was the best first quarter since 1998 and there is no reason to do anything to mess it up at his point.
Nasdaq breadth is almost exactly even while the NYSE is doing much better on strength in oils and commodities. It has been a particular strong quarter for oils so a little mark-up activity isn't surprising. All major sectors are up but big-cap names are mixed with Apple (AAPL) being the most obvious laggard.
As you might expect, there is quite a bit of celebration in the media about the gains this quarter and that makes it quite easy to think you should have done better than you did. For the most part the folks in the media still have a buy and hold, mutual fund mindset in which the best market is one that goes up endlessly. Any selling at all, no matter how extended we are, is a negative.
For some market players the straight-up action this quarter has been fantastic, but for many traders the lack of volatility has been quite frustrating. Active traders who move in and out tend to underperform in an environment like this and that can be particularly irksome when they have to listen to the celebration in the media.
The important thing is to keep in mind that the media is not very reflective of a large faction of market players, so don't think you are alone if you aren't all that thrilled with the recent action. It was a quarter of big percentage gains, but not necessarily an easy one to trade. If you lagged, don't let it get you down. The one great thing about the market is that there is always a new crop of opportunities coming. I suspect that the second quarter of 2012 will look quite different from the first.
I'm on the road later and may not be back for another post, so have a great weekend. Rest up and we'll start the new quarter off on a positive note next week.
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