Posted at 1:13 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015
Today's market action is pretty typical of what we have seen all year. A few big-cap names drive the indices while the great bulk of stocks don't do much. We still have solid breadth but it is fading and is now 17-10 on the Nasdaq. Much of the positive action is not keeping pace with the indices. Amazon (AMZN) is the big gun today with a gain of 2.4% at the moment. (Amazon is part of TheStreet's Growth Seeker portfolio.)
This action is a good demonstration of why 2015 has been a very frustrating year for many traders. If you aren't in a narrow group of key stocks, it has been extremely hard to outperform. The indices simply don't reflect the action in the average stock.
That has been the theme all year and it isn't surprising to see it at this point as finally window-dressing moves are made. Fund managers are marking up the big winners like Google (GOOGL) and AMZN and dumping the laggard small-caps. (Google is part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
As the year comes to an end, we are seeing many predictions about how 2016 will play out. What I find most striking is that there is quite a lot of pessimism. Many are expecting the first quarter of 2016 to be particularly poor. With the Fed no longer providing a tailwind and the bull market growing very long in the tooth, it isn't a big surprise that there is greater negativity.