Even on a slow, Jewish-holiday-addled trading day, this market makes waves, and so often the waves are bad ones.
Out of nowhere, for example, biotech becomes the whipping boy. You sit there and think, OK, what did Celgene (CELG) do today that merits an almost three-point hammering? Probably the same thing that Regeneron (REGN) did, which is absolutely nothing.
Of course, oil goes down. You get two good days of oil for every eight bad ones. That's pretty much the ratio. True bear-market action: horrible dribs and drabs punctuated by wild trading to the upside as someone gets caught by a whiff of good news that doesn't happen.
What a miserable group. No holiday there.
It is true that if you get a good piece of news, your stock can go higher: The news flow out of Apple (AAPL) remains positive and it shows as much strength as it did weakness not that long ago. Facebook (FB) keeps showing fabulous relative strength. How much does that beast want to go higher? (Apple and Facebook are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
As usual on days like today, you get bizarre action like PPG (PPG) down more than two bucks in a million shares -- a million shares, for heaven's sake -- because of some factory shutdown on one of its least important business lines. I would say it is a bargain down 18%, but I have so many down-18% bargains in this bear that it doesn't even tempt me because it doesn't yield more than 1.53% -- a victim of its own success -- when I can buy Eaton (ETN), which yields 4% and is even cheaper down 19% because it is returning cash pretty fast these days.
Again, I can't stress enough, this is all very bearish action. You know what's the worst thing? It can rally in 10 minutes, making the bears cover, spiking everything and then give it right back when China body-slams things tonight. And speaking of China, what do you think of Alibaba (BABA) these days?
I think Alibaba when translated is "top," at least in Chinese, or maybe it means brilliant as in, "way to pick off the West."