Slim Pickings

 | Nov 20, 2012 | 11:05 AM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

cali

,

hgsh

,

peri

,

lgnd

There was mild profit-taking at the open, but the focus quickly shifted to finding long exposure just in case this market continues to levitate. It is slow and breadth is running negative, but big-caps like Google (GOOG), Priceline (PCLN) and Amazon (AMZN) are attracting interest. Homebuilders are leading and financials are perky.

One thing that helps some individual stocks is that traders are anticipating the speculative action that usually occurs around Thanksgiving. Traders look for thinner small-caps that the hot money can push around while the big fund managers take a break. It is largely self-fulfilling action, but that doesn't make it any less profitable if you catch a few names.

A couple of potential names I see on my screen are China Auto Logistic (CALI) and China HGS Real Estate (HGSH). I like to take small marker positions, and then see if volume picks up. The spreads can be quite bad at times, which is the danger in these types of plays.

One of the toughest things to deal with after a big breakdown and a sudden bounce is the lack of great chart setups. Nothing has had much time to consolidate and many stocks go from oversold to overbought, which doesn't leave many opportunities.

Two charts I like are Perion (PERI) and Ligand Pharma (LGND), but I'm keeping positions small.

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