Consolidating Gains

Today’s action didn’t appear spectacular in any way. The market consolidated its gains on ho-hum volume. While my blog yesterday indicated Tuesday’s big gains served as further confirmation that the market was likely to continue higher for at least a few weeks, the short-term is not as bullish. Most of the time there is some brief give back after such large moves.

I ran some numbers tonight looking at action immediately following up days of 3.5% or more in the S&P 500. Of the 35 instances since 1960 that my scan found, 31 of them traded lower than their thrust day close at some point in the next 5 days. (Make that 32 for 36 after Wednesday.) 18 of the 35 traded lower by 1.75% or more.

What’s this tell me? The pullback today was normal. In fact, continued pullback would be normal. The last two big thrust days (3/11 and 3/18) the market fell hard and fast almost immediately. If the market can get through tomorrow without a sharp selloff, that could be a positive. It would be a change in character.