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Stocks Fall On Higher Volume; AAPL Dives After Reporting Earnings

|Includes: DIA, PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (QQQ), SPY

A terrible Richmond Federal Reserve Manufacturing index reading helped set a negative ton for the market. Volume jumped on the day as turnover picked up as sellers gained control over the market. Volatility jumped as fear appears to be settling into the market, but the index remains just above the 20 level. Despite the selling all the attention was going towards AAPL and its earnings release at 4:30 PM EST. Big selling today on volume today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ Composite both lost their 50 day volume average. It appears the trend may be changing and the market is about to head lower.

AAPL reported earnings this afternoon and the market did not like what it heard. The stock closed the after-hours session down more than 5.5% on big volume. It is such a big portion of the NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100 it will have a huge impact at the open tomorrow. AAPL was such a large part of the rally from December and if the stock falls here it will drag the NASDAQ down along with it. At the moment it appears AAPL wants to head lower.

Other stocks posting earnings in after-hours were NFLX, TRIP, and BWLD. All were down double digit percentage wise. TRIP and BWLD had been holding up and consider leadership. NFLX was a former leader and continuing its decline. The troubling aspect is TRIP and BWLD heading lower. TRIP's earnings reaction took down PCLN, but PNRA was able to shake off BWLD's earnings and jump in after-hours trading. Leading stocks continue to look weak and their reaction to earnings are not inspiring confidence.

Earnings season has not been kind to the market. We have had some bright spots, but not enough to overshadow the disappointments. If we simply ignore the noise from market pundits and their opinions we can see a market on very shaky ground. Monday's session we saw the NASDAQ get support at its 50 day. Support at the 50 day is usually positive, but today's reversal and falling below the moving average with volume is all but positive. Just looking at the facts presented in front of us and it appears this market wants to head lower. If we are wrong we cut our losses.

Bulls will be hanging on to dear life and hoping the plunge protection team saves the day.

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