NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bulls make money, bears make money, but in this market, it seems like no one makes money.
For the last few weeks the S&P 500 (SPY) and DJIA (^DJI) have held up within a range, giving the impression that the market has been relatively flat. But underneath the surface, things have not looked so neat.
The areas of the market that typically are regarded as risky, quick movers have been pummeled. Think of the biotech sector and growth momentum stocks. Think of Gilead Sciences (GILD) (down over 17% in March), Priceline.com (PCLN) (down over 11% in March), and Netflix (NFLX) (down over 19% in March).
Perhaps there were some quarter-end mark-up shenanigans taking place to account for the discrepancy between the story given by the S&P 500 and by the rest of the market.
In the end that is not our concern as traders or investors. What is our concern is preserving our capital and not over-trading this chop. For the first time in over a year, the PowerShares QQQ (QQQ), which tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index, closed below the 20-week moving average. The iShares Russell 2000 (IWM), which tracks the Russell 2000 Index, barely managed to stay above.
These are signs of deterioration that should not go unnoticed. In 2013, traders were rewarded for taking risk any time the market signaled trouble. That kind of complacency has likely led to negative returns on the year.
Overall, the longer term trend is still bullish and so far this can be construed as consolidation on a bigger picture outlook. However, in a shorter time frame, the price action is signaling more weakness to come.