Fight Complacency

 | Apr 09, 2012 | 10:58 AM EDT  | Comments
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Here's something that people do not want to hear: You may have to buy stocks in April to take advantage of those who want to get ahead of the sell in May.

April's been a decent month for stocks, so maybe the Johnny-come-earlies don't knows as much as you think, even as my good friend Doug Kass suggests otherwise in Real Money Pro, and on CNBC (via Carl Quintanella) today.

Why bother going against this or any other selling grain? It sure is the course of least resistance to go entirely negative. It is what people seem to want you to do until things are good again, and then they are critical of you being negative. Plus, multiple catcallers on my Twitter feed are anxious to point out how complacent I am.

Complacent? It took anything but complacency to recommend stocks in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. The complacent path was simply to stay negative because negativity was regarded as being the safe course.

Complacency has to do with what is reckless -- but it is a two-sided coin. To avoid stocks was reckless in these last two quarters.

I, on the other hand, want to give the market the benefit of the doubt if only because I like a market where oil's going lower, prices are reflective of more negativity going into earnings, and the bulls are tempered. We had a lot of bulls in the Wednesday bull-bear survey, and that's going to change. I think the selling is changing things. We have a lot of bears today acting as if all that ever mattered was a one-two combination of Fed chief Ben Bernanke going positive the same week that employment went negative.

I am saying that everything is more nuanced than 2011's meat-axe approach. Plenty of stocks will do well in this environment, even if the S&P 500 isn't so hot.

It's just that people are too lazy to see it this way. And complacent, too.

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