Searching for Momentum

 | Mar 13, 2012 | 11:03 AM EDT
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We have gap-up and churn action today as we await the Fed's FOMC interest rate decision. The tendency of the market intraday lately has been to have very strong underlying support and some dip-buying, but not a lot of upside momentum. We hold up extremely well, but other than a handful of big caps like Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM), there isn't much sustained strength.

The two biggest momentum movers on my radar today are InvenSense (INVN) and Coffee Holding Co. (JVA). That is very narrow, and we have strength in a very odd mix of stocks, including Barnes & Noble (BKS), Cracker Barrel (CBRL), Carmike Cinemas (CKEC), and Cal-Maine Foods (CALM). If there is a theme, I'm not sure what it is.

Obviously, with this big gap up this morning breadth is quite good with 3700 gainers to 1400 decliners. Gold and silver are lagging badly once again and retail is flat, but steel, banks and chips are driving the action.

We are hitting the highs of the day as the dip-buyers jump in and squeeze the top-callers. The pattern of dip-buying and squeezing overanxious bears is almost too obvious, but betting against it is not working.

As I keep repeating, if you are anxious to short, wait for weakness first and stop trying to time the exact moment we turn down. It might be an entertaining game and good for the ego when you eventually get it right, but it's an easy way to lose a boatload of money in the interim.

I have a few things on my radar including Fusion-io (FIO), Cobalt International Energy (CIE), Vaalco Energy (EGY) and H&E Equipment Services (HEES), but I'm not doing anything very aggressive. While the indices are strong, the momentum is lackadaisical.


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