Staying the Course

 | Jan 08, 2013 | 2:36 PM EST
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Like Monday, the indices are finding afternoon support. There's still selling pressure, but the dip-buying is keeping the downside contained so far.

The action is a good example of why I'm making a change this year and not messing with trading-index ETFs too much in short time frames. They often distract me from better opportunities in individual stocks. It takes too much time and energy, and even if you use the 3X vehicles, movement is rather limited.

One group popping up on my screen again this afternoon is solar. JinkoSolar (JKS), JA Solar (JASO), Trina Solar (TSL) and SunPower (SPWR) have similar patterns and will trigger buy stops as they take out recent highs. The group has been more constructive lately, and the fact that Barron's panned it this past weekend probably is a positive as there are now more shorts to squeeze.

The mortgage plays, Walter Investment Management (WAC), Nationstar Mortgage (NSM), Newcastle Investment (NCT) and Ocwen Financial (OCN) continue to look good and I see bottom-fishers becoming interested in precious metals. Gold and silver have been terrible lately, but they often seem to reverse when they look the worst. The fact that Dennis Gartman recently sold his gold position is a good contrary indicator.

I see a number of good-looking charts, such as KCAP Financial (KCAP) and Santarus (SNTS), but I'm not buying any big positions now.

Columnist Conversations

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