It was a quiet day of trading in a tight range, but there was a positive bias to the action as headlines about the ongoing stimulus negotiations caused some minor movement. Small caps, per the Russell 2000 fund (IWM) , outperformed with a gain of 0.7%, which was reflected in breadth of 4,800 gainers to 2,600 decliners.
Nearly 500 stocks hit new 12-month highs, which illustrates some healthy momentum. Speculative trading remained quite strong. My list of stocks with moves of more than 10% was the longest it has been in a few days.
It wasn't lively action like the last two days, but it was quite bullish and is not indicative of anything negative. It is likely that there will continue to be bids under the market in hopes of a stimulus deal. Once that deal is made, then we'll see if there is some "sell the news" response, but for now, that potential news is keeping the bears at bay.
In the context of the recent action, this sort of consolidation is exactly what the bulls want to see. There is still very stubborn underlying support but there was some rotational action and profit-taking that prevent another big spike into overbought territory.
The most interesting sector during the day was precious metals with gold and silver hitting new recent highs. The miners are lagging the metals slightly, but they have strong momentum and buyers appear quite confident that this run is not yet over.
This continues to be a good market for stock pickers. We have quite a few earnings reports hitting and that should provide some action for those retail traders that don't seem to understand that the market doesn't go up forever.
Have a good evening. I'll see you tomorrow.