The surprise today isn't that Fed chief Ben Bernanke had nothing new to say, but that the market doesn't seem to care. After the big move this past Friday, it looked like the market was anticipating some news about quantitative easing and was set up for disappointment. Instead, after the initial dip, it looked like the machines conspired to create a short squeeze and sent all the bears and underinvested bulls running for safety. The news flow certainly does not seem to justify this market action, but fighting it would be an even worst mistake.
One of the more peculiar things about this market is the leadership. Some big-cap names hitting new highs include Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE), Verizon (VZ), Disney (DIS), Amazon (AMZN), Monsanto (MON), CVS Caremark (CVS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Altria (MO).
These aren't the typical big-cap momentum leaders you usually see when the market is strong. In fact, almost all of these names are defensive in nature, which tells us that that funds want to put cash to work but they don't trust this market very much. That is standard "climb the wall of worry" thinking, but it is working.
The biggest negative from a trading standpoint is the lack of good position trade setups and a few areas of momentum other than what's listed above. If you are looking for "good" charts, you are not likely to find much. What I do see that seems attractive has very mixed follow-through.
We'll see how the market holds up into the close, but the squeeze is on and the shorts may be forced to cover if it doesn't relent soon.