If you were looking for greater market clarity once the Federal Open Market Committee made its interest rate decision today, you were likely disappointed. Not only did the Fed fail to do anything new, but computer malfunctions roiled a number of stocks and left many market players unsettled. There even was some speculation that small-caps were under pressure due to the selling of positions at Knight Capital (KCG). Overall, it was a chaotic day. But at the end of it all, the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) had moved just a few cents and nothing much was resolved.
The turmoil will not likely come to an end tomorrow, when markets await the European Central Bank's statement on its policy decisions. While President Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever was necessary to protect the European Union, he would need plenty of cooperation to do that. It is very questionable whether such cooperation will be immediately forthcoming, especially from the Germans.
After the ECB announcement, attention will return to domestic concerns. The very important jobs report, to be issued Friday morning, is going to ramp up speculation about the next move by the Fed. It is likely that a bad report may turn out to be a market positive.
As an individual stock picker, I continue to find the market extremely hard to navigate. You just cannot pick stocks on their individual merits when you have major macro news swings as well as wild computer-created volatility. I feel well positioned to deal with this chaos, but it takes a lot of work to make a little progress.
Have a good evening. I will see you tomorrow.