There was nothing straight forward about yesterday’s trading session. The major indexes bobbed and weaved within a fairly narrow range but managed to close at the unchanged line to slightly up despite a weak opening.
The reason was a combination of punches thrown by the current heavyweights, the economy and earnings. While a report on home prices was disappointing, it was offset by a gain in consumer confidence. That should have pushed the markets higher, but weak earnings kept a lid on any attempts to move to a higher level.
The dollar was up, as were interest rates, while gold was down slightly and crude oil was higher just a bit. The net result translated into tiny market gains.
It appeared that investors were simply cautious ahead of next week’s double whammy: The elections and the Fed announcement regarding QE-2. Short of any unforeseen major events, I expect this slow and directionless trading to continue over the next few sessions.