NEW YORK (Real Money) -- We all want to think that we can spot bottoms. We all want to think that bottoms aren't lockstep affairs but, rather, movements that take time to build. You get some confidence here, some short-covering there, some positive news from the left and some upgrades from the right.
But none of that happened yesterday. Nope, it was all one gigantic two-stepped algorithm, and we should just suspend any judgment that there was more to it than that.
The first step? At 12:58 p.m. EDT the NYSE Arca Biotech Index, which had been in slow-motion-crash mode, made a sudden pivot and rallied convincingly. Don't bother looking, as nothing happened at that moment -- nothing at all. I checked the headlines of every single major biotech stock before I wrote this. There wasn't a single story of any import.
Then, at almost exactly 1:02 p.m., the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 both bottomed simultaneously, seemingly within a few seconds of each other. No doubt that's a lifetime in the algo high-speed world, but I don't think our eyes could discern much difference.After that, it was off to the races and the market never looked back. Now, as I scanned the headlines for anything that could have caused that pivot, I couldn't find anything of true import. However, if you examine the trading in the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT), you'll see it peaked at 1:01 p.m., approximately one minute before the S&P and the Nasdaq bottomed. So, the sequence: At 12:58 p.m. the biotech index stops going down. At 1:01 p.m., bonds peak for the day. At 1:02 p.m., the S&P and the Nasdaq pivot and roar. There can be no denying that sequence. It's right there in the numbers. After that, there's one thing that sticks out among a sea of nothingness: a Twitter (TWTR) post at 1:10 p.m. from Daniel Graf, a man acknowledged as one of the geniuses behind Google's (GOOG) Maps. It read simply, "Followed Maps to find that the flock was just around the corner - excited to take wing with the @twitter product team." Or, in non-Twitter English, a real hot-shot developer had just left the so-called hottest company in the space to become the vice president of the consumer product group at Twitter.
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