The Market As A Cuckoo's Nest

by: Gary Kaltbaum

If I wrote a weekend report, I would have told you major indices broke out of a trading range on heavy volume. I would have told you pullbacks would be controlled and rotational. I would have told you to look at any pullbacks to buy into as a lot of areas turned the corner and were coming up the right sides of their bases. Of course, I would have also told you the Kardashian wedding would last forever.

As someone who appears on TV, does a radio show, writes reports and manages money, I am looked to for opinions on the market. For two months, starting with the lows in August, I took pains to tell everyone the market was unplayable as we saw ridiculous moves both up and down in a matter of days. Markets were experiencing gaps every day to the upside or downside. Good news, bad name it. It was tough. It was tough because when markets moved up quickly, people wanted to be in. When markets moved down quickly, they wanted to be short. All the markets provided during that time was nausea.

October 4th provided a high volume washout day where I stated that typically, you are going to rally off of. The rally was stunning in time and price. Instead of the market slowly working through resistance, within 5 days and a couple of gaps, the markets were back at resistance. They then sat around for a few days - a wild few days with gaps and reversals. We saw things like housing and financials actually put in what looked like good bottoms and then we had E-day on October 27th in which Europe supposedly solved its problems. Technically, it was a strong volume gap above resistance. Fast forward to Monday. What happens? A rogue Corzine makes leveraged bets, just like the numskulls did in '08, and kills the company he took over just over a year ago - leading others to ponder whether others are in the same position. We hear again that all may not be well in the big E. Markets gave back a ton on Monday and Tuesday we walked back into a huge gap to the downside.

I would love to tell you there is a template or a manual for all this, but there isn't. The fast money bails on the first sign of a problem and jumps back on the first sign of relief. If you put a crayon in the hand of your 2 year old and told him to draw a picture, that scribble would look like a lot of charts I looked at as I watched the action Tuesday. European markets were moving up and down in one day enough for a normal year's gains or losses.

Bottom line: I have been saying for months that this market is going to remain tough to play, but even I am stunned. The emotions of fear and greed usually last a while but right now, it lasts days, sometimes only hours. I wish I could use my favorite line and tell you I will know more when a few more cards come out of the deck. I am just not sure what cards are in the deck. Personally, I have played this on the light side, and as of this second, thrilled to have not played this too heavily. More to come. Don't blink!

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.