Trending Downward

 | Oct 25, 2011 | 10:53 AM EDT
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We are off to a rough start.

First, we had some mixed earnings reports before the bell, then confusion over the possible cancelation of the European Union Summit, and finally we were hit with a much-worse-than-expected consumer-confidence number.

As a result, we have weak breadth of about 700 gainers to 4300 decliners. But there are a few names doing well on earnings, such as Under Armour (UA), Twin Disc (TWIN) and Fortinet (FTNT). Gold is up, but all major sectors are otherwise in the red.

The biggest problem the bears face is the potential for positive news out of Europe. You can almost count on some sort of positive headline if any doubts about the EU Summit bubble up.

Action like this can actually be helpful in sorting out individual stocks that may buck the trend. Some of my small-cap favorites are in the green, despite the weak action. Datalink (DTLK), Mitek (MITK) and Merge Healthcare (MRGE) are a few I'm watching.

Unfortunately, we will continue to be at the mercy of European headlines for the next couple of days, so we can't be too comfortable with positions. But I'm seeing quite a few stocks holding up better than I'd expected, and that is keeping me from being overly bearish.

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