Now that the flirtation with 20,000 on the Dow is waning, perhaps the market and its participants will return to some semblance of regular trading as opposed to the mad year-end dash for cash following the election.
While financial pundits are still calling the recent burst higher the "Trump Rally," it probably has little or no relevance to the election of the real estate magnate as the 45th president of the United States. What it has to do with is window dressing for fund managers, loading up on hot stocks to adorn their year-end portfolio prospectuses.
Less realistic is the opportunity for the rally to continue, especially after the major league run-up and two straight days of losses on the main indices. Though not large, today's declines were in a very slight range, but interestingly, stocks fell behind the unchanged line at the open and stayed there throughout the session, indicative of a tired market, though perhaps Friday will provide some news and another boost for the Dow 20,000 hat crowd.
Even that possibility seems remote, as the quad witching expiry was last week and the closeout to this week will be more reminiscent of a dash out the door than a frenzied trading day. It is, after all, just one day prior to Christmas Eve, and, despite rumors to the contrary, even Wall Street traders are human.
There's also scant data coming forward and just about everything but kitchen sink futures have been priced in for the final week of 2016. Anybody seeking profits at this juncture has truly missed that boat.
So, Friday is going to be dull and the cries of "Dow 20,000" are not to be heard around these parts for a while. Taking a little off the top going into the new year isn't exactly a bad idea, and it seems to be catching on with more than a few.
There still is time for the annual Santa Claus rally, traditionally the final week of the year, but the Trump rally may have grounded old St. Nick. We'll find out next week.
At the Close 12/22/16:
Dow: 19,918.88, -23.08 (-0.12%)
NASDAQ: 5,447.42, -24.01 (-0.44%)
S&P 500: 2,260.96, -4.22 (-0.19%)
NYSE Composite: 11,113.04, -29.52 (-0.26%)