Are Stock Markets Drifting Calm Ahead of a Big Wave?

U.S. ETFs and stock indexes continued drifting sideways on low volume below significant resistance.

U.S. ETFs and major stock indexes were mixed on Wednesday as investors digested a tepid retail sales report and last night’s State of the Union Address.

etfs, spy, dia, qqq, sector selector all market update - flatFor the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) fell 13 points to close at 13, 982 and once again give up the closely watched and technically important 14,000 level.

The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) gained 0.06%, the Nasdaq 100 (NYSEARCA:QQQ) gained 0.4% and the Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) climbed 0.33%.

In other major markets, oil (NYSEARCA:USO) lost 0.57% to close at $97.01/bbl and gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell 0.39% to close at $1645.10.

Major stock and ETF indexes have been trading in a very tight range for the past several days on very low volume

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Factors influencing today’s action include the retail sales report which showed a 0.1% gain for January compared to 0.5% in the previous month as tax increases apparently start to bite consumer spending.  Other fundamental headwinds have been generated by the upcoming battle over the “sequestration” cuts scheduled for March 1st and mixed reaction to the State of the Union speech…

On a technical level, major ETF indexes and stocks remain at overbought levels with weakening momentum as the market seems to have exhausted itself after the recent New Year rally.  Also, major stock indexes are close to all time highs which represent a multi-year triple top and significant resistance…