The market has gone comatose this afternoon as we wait for news. It looks like there will be an attempt at some sort of Band-Aid deal for 60-90 days, which means we can look forward to going through this process again very soon. The market will probably be relieved to set aside this issue at least momentarily, but it isn't going to do much to restore investor or business confidence in the longer term.
Frankly, all I want for the new year is a market that allows for stock picking. The worst thing about the current environment is that there isn't much reward for astute stock picking. Everything pretty much moves together based on whatever the next headline might be.
There are always a few odds and ends moving as traders stir up action to keep themselves entertained, but it is mostly trading for pennies rather than anything that justifies building position trades. Today there is minor speculative action in solar energy, small-cap oils and a few China-related names.
I have a number of things on my radar that I like technically, such as St. Joe (JOE), Qihoo 360 (QIHU) and Stillwater Mining (SWC), but the action is so slow that you can't justify putting much money into them right now.
We'll see what happens as the 3 p.m. meeting with the president begins. I don't expect that we'll see a quick agreement but this market will be happy with any progress at all.