The indices are dancing around today as buy stops trigger a day high and then the computer algorithms react to a couple headlines on China trade. A headline from Bloomberg hit that China is walking back some of its offers which triggered a very quick drop. That was followed by another headline about six minutes later that the talks were in final stages and U.S. officials are planning a trip to China next week. It is rather absurd but there are plenty of computers ready to trade that sort of thing in a time frame that is impossible for humans.
With the indices a bit extended there is more sensitivity to profit taking so when a negative headline hits it tends to cause a sharper reaction than a positive headlines but this sort of action makes the idea of an 'efficient market' sound comical.
The market is finding its footing again and we'll see how things progress this afternoon. There is some relative weakness in small caps and breadth is weaker than yesterday but there continues to be some good pockets of momentum and traders are looking hard for new setups.
For quite a while now I've emphasized stock picking over market timing and that continues to be the best approach. When the stock picks stop working then we'll know it's time to be more defensive but my screens continue to show some very good action.
The best way to time this market is to manage your stock positions. When you start locking in gains and can't find much new that you want to buy, your cash levels will rise automatically. That is the best form of market timing and will almost always beat using macro considerations to try to time a market time.