Historically, the day before a holiday often has a positive bias. The explanation is that 'management' has already left for the long weekend and left the trading to less-experienced folks that don't tend be as bearish. In addition, volume is lighter and people are in a good mood as they look forward to the holiday festivities.
Another reason that holiday trading can be positive is that it is self-fulfilling. Traders expect there to be some fast-moving small-caps -- and they help to make it happen by piling in when something starts to move.
The key to this sort of holiday trading is positive emotions and, unfortunately, the quants and computer algorithms have helped to kill emotion in this market. They simply apply their formulas and don't much care about the ribs that are going to be smoked or the margueritas that will be consumed this weekend.
The end result of this is boring action. The indices are doing nothing and breadth is running about 2,700 to 3,700 negative. There are around 300 12-month new highs which isn't but the pockets of momentum are sparse. The FAANG names are helping the Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQ) outperform again while the Russell2000 ETF (IWM) is the laggard. Oil and financials are doing poorly, but as long as a small handful of big-cap technology names stays strong that seems to be all that matters.
I have a few odds and ends on my radar, but am doing very little. Health Innovations (HIIQ) is exhibiting some relative strength. TG Therapeutics (TGTX) has an attractive chart setup -- and I'm adding some. Nutanix (NTNX) gapped higher on news and has sold off steadily, but I'm looking for some entries there as it finds support. The Trade Desk (TTD) continues to be at the top of my list of names.
The market needs some dull action like this to help work off the over-bought conditions. This isn't a bad way to do it but it would be more fun if we had some active traders that have started celebrating the holiday early.