Staying Selective

 | Dec 13, 2011 | 10:39 AM EST
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Despite problems with retail sales and Best Buy (BBY), Europe is quiet and that is giving us a better tone so far. Buyers are moving slowly and there isn't much energy so far, but breadth is healthy at better than 3-to-1 positive and, other than retail, all major sectors are green.

If we can hold up for a while, I expect to see more buyers inch in. But if we breach the opening lows, that is going to trigger stops and send folks back to the sidelines quickly.

I have an itchy buy finger, but I'm staying selective. I added to my position in C&J Energy Services (CJES), which is my stock of the week. Oil is leading this morning on concerns in the Middle East, and that's a theme I'd like to pursue.

I have a few other odds and ends like Mentor Graphics (MENT), which is expected to grow earnings per share by 50% for the fiscal year ending January, but is trading with a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of just 12. The technology sector is tough after warnings from Intel (INTC) and Texas Instruments (TXN), but there are some interesting values to be found.

I'm going to keep digging and see what else develops, but it would be nice to see more confidence and more aggressive buying first.

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volatility is quite low here, and we could see some downsides here in the short term. ...
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