The indices have not made any big moves, but the action is extremely chaotic Wednesday morning as market players try to sort out the ramifications of President Trump's phone call with the President of Ukraine. Joe Biden's name is mentioned twice but there is no obvious "smoking gun" of wrongdoing.
This drama is far from over. There will continue to be spin by both sides but so far the market doesn't seem to be overly concerned. The biggest worry expressed by some pundits is that it could impact the trade negotiations with China. The theory is that this emboldens China to be tougher because Trump will be preoccupied. However, there isn't much to confirm that thinking at this time.
Attacks on Donald Trump are nothing new and the market seems to take them in stride. This one attracted more attention because of the impeachment talk but it isn't much different than the Mueller investigation and other political battles. The market simply has not cared much about those issues.
This news flow is making the indices very unstable and there is not much choice but to focus more on market direction than stock-picking right now. Stocks are not trading on their individual merits, which makes it very difficult for stock-pickers like me. My plan is to try to identify positions I want to build and then do so very slowly.
I'm not convinced we've had a good short-term low yet so I'm in no rush to do any incremental buying. There is still more news on the Ukraine issue to come and it will generate more movement in the indices, but I don't expect the moves to be very big.