Playing Defense, Not Offense

 | Jan 14, 2013 | 12:01 PM EST
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Stock quotes in this article:

aapl

,

peri

,

htht

,

yndx

,

alj

Although breadth isn't too bad at around 2250 gainers to 2800 decliners, the action is rocky as Apple (AAPL) weighs on sentiment. It has been a laggard for a while but many have been in denial about it and now they are forced to realize that even the mighty AAPL isn't bulletproof.

Precious metals are leading and there is a little strength in oil, but almost all major groups are down and technology stocks are the worst. I'm not seeing any hot momentum themes, although squeezes in Herbalife (HLF), Netflix (NFLX) and Research In Motion (RIMM) are attracting attention.

I've been tightening up positions and trying to protect recent gains. My number one goal is always to keep my account as close to highs as possible. If you can do that even when the market starts to roll over, you will be far ahead of the game.

A few recent holdings like Perion Network (PERI) and China Lodging Group (HTHT) continue to do well, and I started a partial position in Yandex (YNDX), which is often called the Russian Google, and I'm watching oil refinery play Alon USA Energy (ALJ) closely. I'm keep stops very tight right now and I am more focused on defense than offense.

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