Find the Buys amid the Big-News Worries

 | Mar 14, 2014 | 6:46 AM EDT  | Comments
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bmy

On a day like yesterday, the last thing you want to think about is buying stocks. When we have Thursday selloffs and we know something could happen over the weekend that's negative, you sense you can have the option either to buy today into the intraday weakness or pick Monday.

Still, days like today are made for special self-help stories.

You just have to remember the pattern I outline in "Get Rich Carefully," which I am signing at my local Costco on Route 10 in East Hanover, N.J. Saturday.

Day 1, everything goes down. Day 2, people realize in the middle of the morning that there are some stocks that don't deserve to go down and are being carried down a second day by the S&P futures.

Those are the stocks you have to start bidding on. I like to buy stocks that have several things going for them. Here are the criteria: first they have to have recently reported, if there is any economic sensitivity, otherwise there is too much of a chance that they will have their numbers cut. Second, if they don't have any economic sensitivity, you want to have a combination of an above-average yield and a consistent business that has no pricing worries. My shorthand for that one is Bristol-Myers (BMY) because it is always unaffected by any of this overseas garbage.

Third, I like to buy a stock that has a big percentage decline, meaning 5-7% from its high, before I want to buy it, except it has to have maintained some key line of support. If the chart is broken then the sellers will follow it down because even the fundamentalists are chartists these days.

I would also be lining up classic momentum stocks that are down big intraday. You need to start your deep-in-the-money call buying for those stocks when the stock market's down 1%.

Everything else simply doesn't interest me. You will have enough problems if things fall apart Monday that you must limit the number of opportunities you find. Do not forget that when you do the buying of the kinds of stocks I like, you have to accept that your first buy is not your best buy and you need to leave room for more on Monday if things go wrong.

It's all tricky, but ever since stocks became commoditized on big news there have always been amazing opportunities to buy stocks of companies that actually benefit from whatever is causing the decline.

Those are the best.

We will find them together.

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