A Market at Rest

 | Jan 11, 2012 | 11:09 AM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

asys

,

bgs

,

gca

We have a little consolidating action this morning, but impatient dip-buyers are already jumping in. Early weakness again proves to be a buy, and now we are seeing an almost automatic response since it has worked so consistently.

Despite the bounce, there isn't a lot of life. Breadth is negative and we have gold leading, but there are interesting pockets of momentum in groups such as homebuilders, solar energy and junk China names. Traders are looking for action and, with little major news flow, they are creating movement in places.

In the solar sector, I took a position in Amtech Systems (ASYS), which I have fond memories of from about a year ago. It still has some decent numbers, but the solar sector has been death for nearly all of 2011. We need better price action to rebuild interest.

I have a few other odds-and-ends on my screen, including B&G Foods (BGS), which is a dividend play that has pulled back to support.

Global Cash Access Holdings (GCA) is a small company that operates ATMs. Analysts project it earning $0.55 per share in 2012, which would be a 72% increase over the $0.32 per share it earned in 2011. Yet it sells with a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of just 18. One analyst has an $8 target on the stock.

I'd like to see more energy in this market but it needs a rest. The good news is that individual stock picking has been working better lately.

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