It’s pretty clear that no one wants to exit this market. The indexes aren’t going much of anywhere–the Standard & Poor’s 500 was off just 0.05% at the close today–even as some sectors, such as energy in the early part of this week, get hammered.
Instead what we’re seeing is money sloshing from one sector go another as investors and traders look for some where to stash their money and the merest whiff of a rally in this or that group of stocks. So far this week, we’ve had a big sell off in energy stocks with money moving into technology stocks for big gains in a sector that everyone hated just last week. Today, technology not so much–Apple (AAPL) closed down 0.16% and Amazon (AMZN) was off 0.09%. And instead we’re seeing a continuation of as rally in drug, healthcare and biotech stocks. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed up 1.27%, Bristol Meyers Squibb (BMY) was ahead 2.25%, and Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) gained 1.77%.
Oil recovered a bit but not enough to write home about. U.S. crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate closed up 0.59% for the day at $42.78 a barrel.
This rapid sloshing from one mini-trend to another is likely to go on for a while. Earnings season could establish a stronger pattern, especially if technology companies out perform. But that doesn’t seem certain at the moment. My best guess is that the U.S. market will consolidate around current levels for a while–which wouldn’t be a bad thing. It’s called building a base for another leg higher.