56 points. Fifty six. That was the entire range of the Dow last week. Not the difference between the weekly open and close. That was the difference between the high of the week and the low of the entire week. I have never, in the eight years I've been watching the market seen such a narrow range week. Friday's meager 40 point gain extended the Dow's nowhere streak to six days, equal to the record going back 10 years.
The only thing that looks clear now is that the market appears to be hostage to all the political posturing going on in Washington over tax cuts. I think the current situation is going to continue until we get some sort of resolution, any resolution, from Congress. I also think that in the end, the Bush tax cuts will be extended and when (and if) that finally happens, the market will go higher. Until then though, the Santa Claus rally is stuck in neutral and it looks like more nowhere action. Accordingly, the "X" indicator remains in place. There is no trend, there's not even enough range to declare a channel, there's just nothing.
Ironically enough, despite the lack of volatility, I ended up making 2.09% last week in my trading account, well above average, and finished the week at a 52 week high, thereby proving once again that it's better to be lucky than good. I own some GE, and that took a nice pop after they increased their dividend. I wasn't expecting that, but it sure contributed to my bottom line. Right now, the Dow is up 9.42% YTD, and I'm up 29.18% with just 13 trading days left in 2010.