I'm growing so tired of the recent trading-range action that I was hoping a bit too much that the negative reaction to Apple (AAPL) earnings and the weak action in small-caps might trigger some downside momentum. What happened instead is that the indices bounced right back and are barely unchanged. (Apple is part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
Breadth is still dicey at 2,600 gainers to 3,900 decliners and the small-caps indices are hanging on by their fingertips to support, but the S&P 500 is showing just a minor loss. It still isn't a very good setup for buying, but the story of this market has been -- and still is -- a lack of momentum in either direction.
One question we were pondering in my chatroom is whether this is going to continue until the election is out of the way. The polls are suggesting certain outcomes, but the big issue of control of the House of Representatives is not likely to remain uncertain. The market has already decided what is going to happen in the election and it is just waiting for the final results before making its next move.
Earnings season isn't helping matters much. There have been a few winners, but Bespoke posted this morning that "yesterday morning there were 75 stocks that reported earnings, and on average, these stocks declined 2.24%." In addition, there has been only one strong close this month.
There certainly aren't many positives right now, but the bears can't generate any traction either. This trading range is very annoying but that seems to be the goal of the market quite often. If there was better action in individual stocks I wouldn't complain so much, but that is not the case.