Perhaps you've noticed this too - but the past few weeks there have been an incredible amount of days where after the early morning move (almost always up of course) the market sits in a tight range going back and forth 2-3 S&P points for hours on end. Until 3:30 PM when it get's all crazy. It's as if it has been decided in the morning where the market should be, the market is dragged there by leash and then told to sit for (most days) 4+ hours... basically 10:30-11:00 AM to 3:30 PM is the dead zone. That has been the case all week except for Wednesday which I believe from memory was stoked by oil inventory numbers - but even that day, after the rally there was just the dead zone.
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These are very strange days, usually you'd see after the morning spike, some consolidating and then at least on SOME days either a new move up in the afternoon or a pullback... now its spike, sideways and then post 3:30 PM theatrics. Not just this week - but for a few previous. Hence our good ole trend days are harder to come by since the entire move is in premarket, the first 30-60 minutes or last 30. As I keep saying, I don't know if its the nature of the computers or the underlying bid by very important people who have a vested interest in making sure the market goes in the right direction but the behavior and nature of this market is very different than anything experienced in previous 10+ years.
On the positive front, you can literally take a siesta every day now between 11 AM-3 PM.