Bears had the chance to sell into the gap-up open, and when they failed to gain traction, the bulls started to slowly go to work, helping improve the action.
Let's check out a case for the bears as everyone is so gloomy on the trade war, economic indicators and stocks in general.
The market is in the middle of nowhere, as the first day of the month lives up to September's reputation of weakness.
The last four weeks the S&P 500 has been trapped in a 3% range -- so, no break yet.
Friday could see similar action, but as trade news or presidential tweets might make headlines, it's important to avoid jumping to conclusions and stay ready to react rationally.
Despite movement following statements from the Dutch Central Bank, Thursday's action is mostly technical trading, with no change in fundamentals.
The messy trading range action will help charts of individual stocks develop, but there's no technical reason to put cash to work right now.
The bear argument has seldom been more obvious and the challenges facing the market are clear, but trying to predict what will happen is futile --so just be ready to act.
With China trade, Fed and slowdown worries already in the mix, the inverted-yield curve news offered no comfort to investors Tuesday.
With no positive news on China trade, the economy or the Fed, the dreary action on Tuesday makes for miserable stock picking.