The indices finished the day with some minor moves but make no mistake about it this action is downright nuts. It is most notable that the news flow doesn't seem to have any relationship to the price action.
The indices gapped up nicely on news about some progress on trade with China but the selling started at the opening bell and buy mid-day the DJIA and SP 500 were in negative territory. There wasn't any real reason to sell the early strength. The market certainly wasn't overbought and the news was not discounted, but that is irrelevant right now.
What matters right now is that the market is conditioned to sell strength much like it was conditioned to buy dips when there was an uptrend. The folks in the business media try very hard to come up with news explanations like the cringe-worthy discussion between President Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer but this market does crazy without any help from politicians.
A late bounce gave the bulls some hope but then another round of selling hit in the final 30 minutes. Breadth ended up just slightly negative and the Nasdaq actually managed a positive close despite another negative day for Apple (AAPL) .
The challenge of this market is that good news is not creating any sustained buying and the fundamentals of individual stocks are meaningless. This is a market focused on the price action and trying to buy a stock based on its intrinsic value better be ready for some random movement.
The good news is that many individual stocks are becoming very inefficiently priced. At some point that will correct and there will be good opportunities but if you don't have the timing right it's going to be difficult to stay with a trade.
It was a confusing and chaotic day but maybe that will help to move forward this painful corrective process.
Have a good evening. I'll see you tomorrow.