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At 3:00 p.m. New York time, the Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 0.33%to 3012.13.

That, not so coincidently, is almost exactly the 200-day moving average for the index at 3012.39.

Today, no big bounce after yesterday’s 5.89% drop for the index. Bargain hunters didn’t rush to buy.

Today, no continuation of the drop, either. The loss yesterday might have been scary but it doesn’t seem to have frightened a considerable body of investors and traders to the sidelines.

From yesterday’s close at 3002.10 we’ve been as high as 3080 at 10 a.m. and as low as 3005 at 11:24.

It seems to me like the machines on Wall Street are content to trade this modest range as we head into the weekend with no news to speak of. When you trade as much volume as the big houses of Wall Street do, you can make a profit from a range like this. Not much of one but still a profit. And discretion looked like a good play this morning after not even a positive reading from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index bumped stocks higher. The index climbed to 78.9 from 72.3 in May. But consumers’ view of the future remained dark with two-thirds of consumers in the survey expecting “bad times financially” during the year ahead, while half anticipated a “renewed downturn.”

The 20-day moving average, an indication of recent trends, is acting as something like overhead resistance today at 3047.19.

Monday is another trading day and unless the market moves decisively in the last hour, we’ll begin next week without a significant short-term directional trend in the U.S stock market.

Update: The market did move in the last hour. S&P 500 closed at 3041. Slightly above the 20-day moving average at 3037 and definitely above the 200 day. Some upward momentum for Monday, although I’d note that a gain of 1.31% isn’t much of a bounce given yesterday’s selling.