Choppy Action

 | Dec 17, 2012 | 11:08 AM EST
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Big banks, particularly Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), are leading the market higher, but it is choppy out there. Apple (AAPL) is the primary drag as it struggles with a couple of downgrades and target cuts, but it is the randomness of the small-caps that is making the trading very tricky.

As has been the case lately, the action has a positive bias, and there is some optimism that the fiscal-cliff negotiations are advancing, but we don't have the sort of big-volume strength that is indicative of institutional buying. The strength is driven by fear of being caught underinvested when a positive headline hits.

I'm itching to be more active, but I continue to find few opportunities to be aggressive. I sold a few things into strength and am looking for some new buys, but there isn't much with increased volume so far. One stock I'm watching is Taser International (TASR), which could be a beneficiary of the gun-control debate, which is going to be very loud for quite a while.

If we hold up, I see a few things I may add later in the day, such as Synergy Resources (SYRG), my stock of the week, and AVEO Pharmaceuticals (AVEO), which is turning up from the lows on some insider buying. I'd prefer to be chasing some strong momentum, but other than big-cap banks and Google (GOOG), I don't see much.

Columnist Conversations

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



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