SPX opened lower today and then accelerated even lower as oil prices fell. SPX closed down $36 at $1903, while RUT gave up $24 to close at $1009. SPX traded as low as $1897, but bounced during the last 45 minutes of trading. Significantly, oil prices didn't bounce. Perhaps this oil/stocks correlation is weakening, as it should. The glut in oil supplies is driving down the price of oil. That grossly overstates the slowdown in the global economy as suggested by lower demand for oil. Big oil has survived very low oil prices in the past; it isn't clear to me why this time is different. Virtually everyone else benefits from lower oil prices. However, the market for doomsday pundits is very strong. We need an ETF to trade them. I don't see the basis for the beginning of a bear market, but I could be wrong. I think it is more likely that we are in the test/retest cycle that is common immediately following the bottom of a correction (see the month of trading following August 24th last year).
Trading volume popped up today with 3.1 billion shares of the S&P 500 trading. Trading volume rose 4% on the NYSE and increased 13% on NASDAQ.
Volatility rose with the VIX closing up a little over two points at 22%.
One bullish data point I saw mentioned today: as we neared the close, it was reported that over 600k shares were queued up for close of market buy orders. That sounds like some traders are betting on the bounce. For the record, I considered buying SPX calls at the close, but thought better of it. That's too close to gambling for my style. Now watch it gap up higher in the morning...