Stocks closed a choppy session higher, rallying from a morning dip but closing well off the day's highs as a relief rally offered what likely will be little more than a brief respite from the turmoil ratting the market in June.
After a violent sell-off Monday, the major averages were back in green numbers as energy and consumer discretionary stocks led sector gains on the Standard & Poor's 500.
Market participants, though, were becoming resigned to a summer of sloppy trading and rangebound levels until both the European and U.S. economy get clearer signs of direction.
"The market seems to vacillate between cynicism and optimism over what European leaders can get done. The totality of our focus continues to be on Europe and their ability to claw their way out of the hole they've dug," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets in New York. "While we're waiting for that to happen, we see lackluster volume and relatively sideways action."
Indeed, despite the wild swings of recent days the market essentially is unchanged from where it was in mid-May, or early February for that matter.
That makes even a buy-on-the-dips strategy difficult to pull off.
"It's really hard to justify, unless you're a minute-by-minute investor, to look at this market and say there are great opportunities created by the downdrafts," Hogan said. "Sometimes the sidelines is the best place to be."Page 1 of 4 | Next Page