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Direction. The market seemed to be fighting for one the entire week. The trend of a directionless market – up one day, down the next – has persisted for what seems like the entire year. Traders have been hopeful that the data and various earnings reports would help spur the market on some sort of pathway. However, that hasn’t been the case for the first trading month of the fourth quarter.

The data this week certainly didn’t provide direction. Measures of manufacturing and consumer health painted a bearish picture, while housing-related numbers and labor conditions showed positive trends. The split in data points caused more confusion.

Also adding to the mixed message were earnings. With earnings season well underway, the tone has been less than positive. While profit beats are still occurring, guidance and revenue numbers have been lower overall. Trying to digest this has been difficult for traders.

All in all, the week continued the market’s rollercoaster ride. Unless we get some sort of real push, the trend should continue throughout the year. (To see these trends in action, check out last week’s Market Wrap.)

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