The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
By David Sterman
NEW YORK (StreetAuthority) -- Take your mind back to the third quarter of 2011. Companies were posting robust profits and investors were wading back into the market, helping to fuel a 15% gain in the S&P 500 from early October to the second week of November.
But the just-ended earnings season must seem like an ancient history now, and investors are once again hitting the "sell" button. Since peaking at 1278 on Nov. 8, the S&P 500 has already begun to cough up its gains and is now on its way to buckling back under the 1200 mark.
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