Sometimes you just say, this is a crummy market. It's an illiquid market driven largely by machines that dart in and out of stocks and create up openings like the one we experienced today or bitter closes like yesterday.
This is not a new theme. It's just gotten more pronounced.
It's also a market where something has started happening that I haven't seen in ages: mysterious declines, as in, "What are you hearing, Apple?" as that stock (AAPL) broke down badly -- again the watch and the potentially weak cellphone sales from the Chinese stock market collapse.
Mysterious declines breed mistrust and fear and we are getting them in spades. Yes, it is true that we have more negativity in the bull/bear ratio than we have had in a very long time. It is also true that most American companies really are American, particularly our retail sector, which still acts well.
But it many ways it doesn't matter because the whipsaw activity can turn any bull into a bear at any moment. How many people chased stocks today for no good reason?
What do I mean "for no good reason"? Let's look at Cummins (CMI), the truck engine company. Here's a stock by virtue of its illiquidity and its status as an S&P company, hence in the futures, opened up at $131.44 after closing the day before at $129.06.
Was there any new news on Cummins? Yes, from Klaus Kleinfeld's Alcoa (AA), where Klaus took down his numbers for Chinese truck builds rather dramatically. The news was negative not positive.
Someone surely bought Cummins at the opening, but the right move would have been to sell it as, sure enough, when rationality returned, Cummins fell to $127.74. Short at $131 cover at $127. That was the trade of the day.
You got a bunch of stocks like that you could bet would reverse. The pathetic, awful GM (GM) opened up about 60 cents. That should have been drilled. Caterpillar (CAT) opened up a buck and a half and it finished off 58 cents. (Apple and General Motors are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
So let's just own this market for what it is, a setup with far more negatives than positives. And leave it, right now, with that.