Markets acted with wild abandon Tuesday to open up a holiday shortened week. Futures were up robustly very early on in the morning and by the open a good portion of those gains were lost. On the bullish side indexes had every right to roll over even more than they did at the afternoon lows for the session which were more than 1% for the Nasdaq, yet they showed some fight to go out near UNCH for the day. The Nasdaq dropped .25%. The Nasdaq which we will continue to be concerned about with its relative underperformance to the S&P 500 has not recorded back to back winning sessions since 12/24. The was the holiday shortened week where Santa attempted to sport a jolly mood advancing every day that week. It was not much of a Santa Claus rally, and that seems ages ago, no? At the expense of sounding like a broken record energy and materials (chart below is of former best of breed VMC from the material space and how it was presented in our Thursday 1/14 Game Plan) were the worst performing sectors of the day and the financials were the only other major S&P sector to fall Tuesday. Obviously with the current market environment one would understand how new issues would be few and far between. However with the shellacking the overall benchmarks have undergone one would have thought we would see more M&A activity. Perhaps one just has to look back on some recent deals and ponder that maybe that is the reason inaction has taken place. In the material space on 12/9, DOW and DD both rose nearly 12%, but the marriage has since soured with DOW down 26% from recent highs and DD 34%. Just 2 days before JAH and NWL announced a union and JAH has dropped 14% and JAH by 29% from their respective highs.
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