As Goldman's David Kostin summarizes in his latest weekly kickstart chartology, the market continues to be a dueling story between slightly better micro (although certainly not in Europe) and deteriorating macro. "Two weeks ago the narrative of the market was the triumph of politics and profits. News from inside the Beltway suggested a deal to curtail spending and raise the federal debt ceiling was in sight and a steady sequence of very strong earnings reports led by the Information Technology sector combined to push the market higher. However, the news this week was decidedly less market-friendly....Our client discussions indicate investors are in full “risk-off” mode and they plan to continue that posture until sovereign uncertainty subsides. Lack of conviction regarding the outcome of politically-charged fiscal negotiations has compelled hedge funds to reduce risk by lowering gross exposure and mutual funds to stay close to benchmarks. Investors are refocusing on corporate balance sheet strength as a key factor in the stock selection process and we re-balanced our strong and weak balance sheet baskets. 331 stocks have released 2Q earnings and the results have been strong although several firms slashed 2H guidance during the past week." And as a reminder, the bulk of the upside has come from one company alone: Apple. Also, it is gradually getting uglier on the earnings front: "During the past week a number of firms reduced EPS guidance for 2H. Examples include ITW, JNPR, MUR, and SO. Several firms specifically commented that business activity slowed sharply in June and July." And with a slew of financials reporting shortly, next week is sure to tip investor sentiment further into derisking mode.