We knew it was going to be a very slow day of trading, but this is downright pitiful. The indices are almost dead flat, but a slightly better performance in small-caps has breadth in positive territory with 3,750 gainers to 2,550 decliners. The number of stocks hitting new 12-month highs has fallen to less than 125.
Although breadth is solidly positive, that doesn't mean there is much moving. I have only four names that are up more than 10% today. The primary theme I'm seeing is a bounce in biotechnology, which has been a laggard this year and subject to tax-loss selling. Many of these names are washed out and are seeing some signs of the "January effect" today.
A couple of examples of biotechnology bounces are Global Blood (GBT) , Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT) and NewLink Genetics (NLNK) . All of these have been hovering near lows and are being actively bottom-fished today.
Health Innovations (HIIQ) , which I mentioned on Wednesday morning, has been a top momentum name and hit new highs this morning. I am looking at a couple of low-priced names such as Northern Dynasty (NAK) and Curis (CRIS) as potential holiday plays, but it is very slim pickings out there.
The key thing to keep in mind today is don't force it. There isn't enough energy to produce sustained moves and charts will fizzle out fast as volume dries up.
I may break out some hot chocolate and Bailey's Irish Cream shortly as the prospects for market entertainment look very limited.