Quick note on today’s action…

If you’re wondering if today was simply more of the same algo-driven (to some extent) trading, just in the opposite direction of what we’ve seen of late, well… could be.

In fact that’s how the day began: After a nice 280-point Dow move in the morning, sellers promptly jumped on the opportunity to send the major averages into negative territory. Then, the typical of late battle ensued, offering no reason to believe that once again the bears weren’t going to take it to the bulls.

Then, suddenly, a little before noon (pt), the market rocketed higher, ultimately closing at the highs of the day. While I noticed the move, but wasn’t in a position to see what, if anything, inspired it, I knew for sure that the shorts who were logically sitting just above 2420 on the S&P 500 had reason to cover their positions, providing the thrust needed to barrel right threw what otherwise should’ve been stiff resistance at 2450. 

Skimming through the headlines, I noted the good news from the retail sector, although I did see that one earlier in the day, and it didn’t keep the bears from selling into that early morning bounce. A little more skimming and today’s catalyst came jumping off the screen at me. 

Here it is:

“A U.S. government delegation will travel to Beijing in the week of Jan. 7 to hold trade talks with Chinese officials, two people familiar with the matter said.

Next month’s meeting will be the first face-to-face discussion the two sides have held since President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed on a 90-day truce in Argentina this month. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week the U.S. team and its counterparts have held discussions over the phone.

The meeting adds to signs that the world’s two largest economies are making progress in cooling trade tensions. Beijing this week announced a third roundof tariff cuts, lowering import taxes on more than 700 goods from Jan. 1 as part of its efforts to open up the economy and lower costs for domestic consumers.

U.S. stocks extended gains on news of the talks. The S&P 500 Index rose 4.96 percent as of 4 p.m. in New York, after falling within two points of a bear market earlier in the session.” 

While the above is indeed encouraging, make no mistake folks, we are in a most volatile, headline-sensitive environment. Expect more monster moves in both directions for the time being…


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