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The Standard and Poors 500 index (SPX) took a breather today from the recovery that began on July 1st, closing at 3899 with a slight decline of three points for a decrease of -0.08% for the day. SPX opened the shortened holiday week at 3793, resulting in a gain of 2.8% for the week. The index may be running into resistance at the high of the last attempted recovery in late June around 3921. Trading volume was anemic all week, running well below the 50-day moving average (dma). Declining volume during a recovery from the low for the year doesn’t show much conviction.

VIX, the volatility index for the S&P 500 options, opened this week at 27% and closed today one point lower at 26%. The market may be showing signs of life, but traders remain unconvinced.

I track the Russell 2000 index with the IWM ETF. IWM closed today essentially unchanged at 175.59, down 0.01% from yesterday’s close, but IWM managed a 4.1% gain for this four-day trading week. Seeing a strong rise out of the Russell 2000 index is encouraging but Russell is running into resistance from the highs set by the last recovery attempt, just as we see in the other broad market indices.

The NASDAQ Composite index followed the lead of the other broad market indices today, closing at 11,635, essentially unchanged from yesterday but up 6.1% for the week. However, before we get too excited, note the trading volume decline for the week. Today’s volume was a disappointing 3.6 billion shares, well below the 50 dma at 5.3 billion.

This reminds me of the film, Groundhog Day, where the day kept repeating itself. Several times this year I have thought the correction was over and the market was returning to at least a slightly bullish track. But each mini recovery has been followed by a lower low. So here we are again. The market has been trading steadily higher since the first of July but we have seen this movie before. Every one of the broad market indices are closing in on the last attempted recovery high. Will this time be different?