"If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way."
The market action was slightly flawed on Friday, but trading range action favors a bounce today and that is what we have.
The driving force for a positive open is a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend OPEC oil production cuts for nine months. In addition, President Xi Jinping of China announced an additional $100 billion in new financing for infrastructure programs.
These two news events are pushing up commodity prices and that is helping the tone of the action. Once again, the bears simply cannot build on any advantage they may have.
Another thing that has been favoring the bulls lately is that despite the anemic action in the indices, there has been some decent stock picking. There have been good moves on earnings in names such as The Trade Desk (TTD) and Nvidia (NVDA) .
The very flat action, especially in the S&P 500, can be quite frustrating for market timers who are trying to catch the next big move in the indices. The natural inclination is to make a prediction about how this trading range action is going to resolve itself, and more often than not we tend to think our predictions will be fulfilled sooner or later.
People tend to predict a resolution of the trading range rather than its continuation. There is no drama or glory in predicting that the market will continue to flop around like a fish out of water.
The correct way to handle this market lately has been to forget the market timing and focus on stock picking. That is where the money has been. We need to find the individual stocks that are moving and focus on them. The indices are irrelevant until they can put together a sustained trend.
If the recent trend continues, the bulls will have limited success in building on this positive open. The bulls have done better than the bears with generating a little momentum, but it has been focused in the FAANG names, with Apple (AAPL) in particular doing the heavy lifting. (Apple is part of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust.)
This market has had a distinct lack of drama lately and strength in commodities is probably not enough to shake off the lethargy, but there are opportunities in stock picking and that is where we need to focus.
I sold a house in Florida and will be in and out the next couple days dealing with that. I will keep an eye on the market and post when I have a chance.
Cocktails & Cramer
Join Jim Cramer on May 23 for an exclusive party at Bar San Miguel, his Brooklyn tavern. You'll get to watch a screening of Mad Money, after which Jim will arrive fresh off of the CNBC set to mingle, pose for photos and answer your investing questions. Participants will enjoy dinner, drinks, an autographed copy of Jim's book Get Rich Carefully and a one-year membership to Action Alerts PLUS, Jim's club for investors. (Current AAP members will receive one extra year of membership for free.)
When: Tuesday, May 23, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. ET
Where: Bar San Miguel, 307 Smith St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cost: $375 per person
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