Why is the assertion that “all markets are manipulated” generally greeted with scorn and derision? Because while manipulating any particular, single market is a relatively straightforward matter – using “tools” for financial crime honed through centuries of practice — rigging markets collectively has always been viewed as an endeavour infinitely more difficult than herding cats.
Markets diverge. It’s what they do. While overall economic fundamentals affect all markets, and all sectors. These fundamentals affect markets/sectors/companies unevenly. Coupled with that, every individual sector/market has its own, unique collection of economic fundamentals – almost entirely independent of the general fundamentals of the economy.
This absolute absence of homogeneity means that in (legitimate) markets we will always see most sectors (and individual companies) moving not only with varying degrees of magnitude, but frequently in opposite directions. This is what must happen in any/all legitimate markets, on most days. It is only at times where the general fundamentals are extreme (i.e. extremely bad or extremely good) where we will ever see markets exhibit herd-movement patterns.