Selective Opportunities - Don't Get Careless

George Brooks  |

Investor's first read      - Brooksie's edge before the open

Friday, March 2, 2012         9:09 a.m. ET

DJIA: 12,980.30      S&P 500: 1374.09

We should get a bounce in stocks today. News out of Europe is upbeat. European leaders are talking about a turning point in the Greece situation and more rapid payments into the planned 500 billion-euro rescue fund. What’s more, Italy’s  battle to reduce its deficit is gaining traction as a result of increased taxes and its austerity efforts.

So why is the stock market not ripping ?

Possibly because a lot of stocks have had a big run and need a breather.

It is a good time for locking in some profits with the intention of buying back at a lower price, or switching to other stocks that stand to have a run of their own.

Here again is where technical analysis is invaluable.

A 5% to 7% correction I see the possibility of would  NOT include all stocks. Actually some would do well as others decline – this has become a market of stocks where individual situations outperform the major market averages.

One of  the risks of a minor correction of 5% to 7% is that once the correction is ready to yield to a sharp rebound, new negatives suddenly surface to pound prices lower. That’s when the correction becomes a 10% to 12% correction – ouch !

There is no way we know that in advance. The only thing is to have some cash in reserve and sit close to the exits with stocks sporting  quick, handsome [undeserved] gains.

So far small corrections go unnoticed, as stocks quickly rebound. It is important that these rebounds be scrutinized closely.

If the market bounces like a golf ball, the bull is still voraciously hungry. If it is comparable to the bounce of a soggy old playground softball (or dead cat), the bull is cooling it.

CONCLUSION:  I am still bullish, especially selectively so where a stock has consolidated an upmove and  is ready for another upleg.  As the “wall of worry” that bull markets are purported to climb crumbles, be increasingly  aware of the possibility of  a correction.

ECONOMIC REPORTS: As long as U.S. economic indicators signal recovery, these reports are only a minor driver of stock prices. Should they soften, the market will go into a nasty correction.

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George  Brooks


**National Journal


The writer of  Investor’s first read, George Brooks,  is not registered as an investment advisor.  Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment decisions in keeping with their tolerance for risk.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:

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