NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The calm demeanor of Jamie Dimon could only keep the bears at bay for so long.
The CEO of JPMorgan Chase (CAKE) kept his cool during his visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, and stocks even went green for a little while there in early afternoon trades before reports surfaced of elevated bank withdrawals in Greece ahead of the company's crucial elections this weekend.
That wiped out chances for a rally into the close. Instead, the major U.S. equity indices swooned but finished with only modest losses. As has been previously discussed, volatility is the watch word this week, and Wednesday was more the same. The VIX jumped nearly 10%.
Wall Street eschews a vacuum and there just isn't much corporate news to deal with right now, putting the market's focus mainly on the macro picture. The problem with that is the biggest events there are still off in the distance as well, namely the aforementioned Greek elections this coming Sunday and the Federal Reserve's next policy meeting on June 19-20.That's created a skittish trading environment, prone to swift swings as well as bouts of indecision as investors constantly brace for the next meaningful headline. Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ, painted this picture of current market conditions in commentary late Wednesday. "Investors are impatient by nature, in our opinion, like one who gets upset after missing a slot in a revolving door," he wrote. "Not surprisingly, they don't take kindly to waiting for catalysts. As a result, they generate their own activity, driving prices higher one day and lower the next, less on news and more on speculation." He doesn't expect clarity to arrive anytime soon either; not with so many questions about the eurozone situation will ultimately play out still unresolved. Even though the charts are looking a bit more encouraging to us, we think a choppy, drawn out advance would be the likely trading pattern during this seasonally vulnerable period," Stovall said. "At the same time, we can't rule out the possibility that this is just a counter-trend rally. Though valuations offer support, Wall Street's belief that the bailout of Spanish banks is only a practice run for a sovereign bailout represents formidable resistance."
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