With the bond market closed for Veterans Day and no significant economic data to create activity, the major indices traded in a very narrow range. The S&P 500 spent the entire session trading within a 5-point range However, the Dow rose enough to establish a new closing high, and the small-cap Russell 2000 index was up 0.1%, outperforming all other indices.
The markets may get more active as the week progresses with the confirmation hearing of Janet Yellen for Federal Reserve Chairwoman.
At Monday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 21 points to 15,783, the S&P 500 gained 1 point to 1,772, and the Nasdaq also rose a point to 3,920. The NYSE traded 537 million shares and the Nasdaq crossed 399 million. Advancers and decliners were virtually even on both major exchanges.
The chart of the small-cap Russell 2000 and mid-cap Nasdaq are similar — the former leaders are now the reluctant followers. Even though the Russell’s MACD is oversold, there seem to be few buyers to push it higher.
Currently, this index, which is usually one of the most volatile, is trading between its 50-day moving average at 1,079 and its 20-day at 1,105. However, only the near-term trend is down. The intermediate- and long-term trends are still bullish.
The current market leader is the blue-chip Dow. This group of 30 of the mightiest companies in the world plowed to a new closing high with a not-so-hefty gain of 21 points and volume that ranks in the lowest 20% of the year.
Conclusion: They say “never sell a dull market.” If that is true, then we must be headed for much higher ground since Monday was as dull as I’ve ever experienced. Everyone seems just a bit confused, and perhaps that’s the reason for the lethargy.
Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James pointed out that while the NYSE McClellan oscillator is in deeply oversold territory, none of the 10 S&P macro sectors is oversold — a contradiction that may be resolved this week.
Despite Monday’s sleeper, how this week ends could point us to the market’s direction for the remainder of 2013.
Today’s Trading Landscape
To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.
For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.