NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Meh. That pretty much sums up the mood in markets, which seemed happy to gain for much of the session on Fed chair Janet Yellen's mostly upbeat economic assessment, until investors realized she was saying nothing new and went back to hating tech stocks.
Momentum names can't be trusted it seems, and so the selling continues. But even selling isn't being done with much conviction -- the S&P has flat-lined for the past two months, with investors unsure about where else to put their money given rates will remain low for sometime. And again today, the Dow is up while the S&P is only slightly lower.
Across the Atlantic, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested the ECB would ease as early as next month if inflation did not pick up. This spurred a return to yield-seeking behavior, with the South African rand and Turkish lira both gaining against the greenback while the euro fell from a two-year high.
"Investors should not try to ECB-proof their portfolios any more than they should try to Washington-proof their portfolios as we warned last year," Voya Investment Management senior market strategist Karyn Cavanaugh told clients. She noted that at the end of 2013, investors were rushing to unload bonds as the Fed taper took effect - but that this year, most of the best performing asset classes were bonds.
Can markets hold up without the Fed stimulus crutch? The broad assessment is that they can, though strategists are increasingly positive on the outlook for Europe vs. the U.S. Economic data there continues to improve while valuations are still attractive.
Meanwhile, earnings continue to be mixed. 21st Century Fox was gaining after posting third-quarter profit that beat estimates after a massive Super Bowl audience. Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) was shedding 10.60% after warning research and development costs would rise 30% in the second quarter. DirecTV (DTV) dropped more than 4% and SolarCity (SCTY) jumped over 12% after the solar power provider raised its installation forecast for the year after a surge in demand for its product.
-- By Jane Searle in New York