In what was a relatively wide-ranged day of trading, stocks limped to the finish line as the Dow again finished with triple-digit losses. After giving up all of Friday’s gains yesterday, the market turned sour as the details of the bailout plan were voiced at a Senate Committee hearing.

As mentioned previously, the bailout plans and short-trading restrictions are not to be mistaken for rally and market strength. As smaller more nimble investors, it is our job to determine how we are going to trade, if at all, in these volatile markets.

The large daily trading ranges are hinting it may be time to keep most of you money on the sidelines. The market will tell us when it’s time to put capital back to work. Strong demand, big volume, and technical improvement are signs of a healthy market, and we have yet to see any of those things. Remember, there’s no rules about having to be invested in a market that is in confusion, in fact, the best thing as individual investors might be, to sit on the sidelines and let it sort itself out. As such unless they are defensive plays we will not issue as many daily trades in the coming days.

Here’s the Nasdaq and S&P charts…