NEW YORK (
) -- The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
wrapped its worst week since mid-August on Friday and there's reason to believe the markets are in for more of the same next week.
First-quarter reporting season is over, and corporate earnings stumbled a bit into the finish. Virtually all of the economic data has been bad the past few weeks, and while a bailout for Greece is getting spun as good news, it's still a bailout. In fact, it's the second one for Greece, so besides taking some solace in avoiding the near-term ill effects of default on the global economy, it's debatable what the real benefit is. Especially for U.S. stocks.
Then there's the end of QE2 looming at the end of the month. Remember the last time the markets were skidding this bad -- namely the July-August stretch last year -- was right when the Federal Reserve started laying the groundwork for the $600 billion bond-buying program that was ultimately announced in November and set the bull market in full gear.
Even with the poor data of late, it's pretty clear some money is being taken off the table ahead of the unknown that lies ahead when the Fed takes away the punch bowl, as the pundits are so fond of saying.
Mark Arbeter, chief technical strategist at Standard & Poor's, says the tug-of-war the major U.S. equity indices endured last week is a red flag, as gains early in the week were wiped out in the relative blink of an eye.
"A major downside reversal on Wednesday erased these strong gains, negating what had been setting up like a nice breakout," Arbeter wrote in a research note. "We believe that when the market does not follow through on a breakout, and gets soundly rejected the next day, it's time to pay attention."
He continued: "In our view, this is corrective or bear market price action, and we see additional pain coming in the weeks and months that follow."
Not to worry though,
(AAPL - Get Report)
is poised to come to the rescue. The iconic company is holding its annual worldwide developers conference and CEO Steve Jobs is set to deliver a keynote address on Monday at 1:00 p.m. ET.