The market was surprised by much worse than expected retail sales numbers for December but there seems to be some concern that the numbers may be inaccurate to some degree. The numbers suggest that retail sales are declining at an annualized rate of over 12%, which hardly seems possibility.
A news item just hit that U.S. and China are still far apart on demands and that is causing a fast spike back down. I expect the market to continue to dance around on China trade rumors for weeks.
Back a few years ago the market had a dozen or so rallies each time there was a story that "Greece was saved." The China trade situation looks like it is going to have the same dynamic.
The dip buyers jumped in shortly after the open and have pushed the indices up substantially from early lows. Breadth is negative, with about 3,000 gainers to 3,800 losers, but there appears to be good support. There is still more fear of underperforming than there is fear of loss.
There are still some very strong pockets of speculative interest. Electra Meccannica Vehicles Corp. (SOLO) kicked it off Wednesday and now there are some other stocks joining the action like Arcimoto (FUV) and Blink Charging Co. (BLNK) .
My thesis for the market has been trading range action and I continue to believe that is likely in the near term. The China trade issue is going to keep providing support because every time there is a rumor that negotiations are in trouble, it is followed by some hopeful rumors that a deal will be made.