It looks like market players are positioning for the first pattern of the year – every first day of the week (two Tuesdays due to holidays) has been a gap up. Followed by a lot of sideways action. To partake in those gaps you of course need to be vested into the market the prior Friday. (this past Wednesday was the only exception to the 2012 rule, where the market actually rallied during the session rather than sideways action)
This is part and parcel with the comfort level that has fallen over the market. For much of the past year people did not want to be long going into weekends due to headline risk. Now people do not want to be caught left out and are piling in ahead of 'destiny'.
I'll use the NASDAQ since the gaps are easier to see in the chart:
Of course at some point everyone catches on to a trend and it fails. This one is rather obvious.
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