The indexes finished the day with good-sized gains on strong breadth, but nearly all the gains were created by the gap-up open. There was little movement for the rest of the day. The S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (SPY) opened at $292.23 and closed the day nine cents higher at $292.32.
The bullish spin on this action is that the indexes did a good job of holding onto gains, and there was no selling pressure. The bearish spin is that the indexes failed to persuade buyers that the market is ready to fly higher from here.
The lack of energy is due in part to summer vacation season, but it also shows that the celebration of central banker dovishness isn't quite the driving force it was a month ago. The rationale for the opening gap-up was more stimulus coming from China and Germany, but the buying looked automatic rather than emotionally driven.
Technically, the indexes have made a good-sized move from the lows on Thursday, and are now running into technical overhead. Market bulls often lack respect for overhead resistance, as they have seen how "V"-shaped moves can develop, but a very clear trading range has developed recently and the indexes now sit at the top of that range.
August has historically been a time when there is a tendency toward "don't short a dull market" action, but this has been an unusual August, so far with a number of big, news-driven moves. Look for market direction Tuesday to be driven by some news event overnight.
Have a good evening. I'll see you tomorrow.