When the market was in a long trading range in July and August, many market players were hoping for greater volatility. They got their wish, but they may not be so happy about it for now. In the last five days, we have had two trend days to the downside, two trend days to the upside and some very choppy intraday action.
Increased volatility can be very good for traders, but when the short-term moves are so random, it isn't much fun. In addition, it has made individual stock picking more difficult. We still have some things working, but it is harder to hold and easier to be stopped out.
There is no mystery about what is driving the market. The focus is on next week's meetings of the Fed and the Bank of Japan. While it is widely anticipated that the bankers will remain dovish, there is increased concern about whether that is a good thing. Bond yields have started moving inversely to equities and there are more questions about central banker forecasts -- as well as their policies.
Despite the unsettled market, there still is some interesting action out there.
Action Alerts PLUS holding Apple (AAPL) is finally taking a rest after a sharp move, but the Nasdaq 100 is still exhibiting some relative strength. Biotechnology is attracting some speculative money and Intel (INTC) has helped the chip sector with some better guidance.
There are a number of biotechnology names doing well today that I'm pursuing. Supernus Pharmaceuticals (SUPN) was last night's Shark Technical pick; Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) , which I've mentioned a number of times, is finding some traction; and Aratana Therapeutics (PETX) is inching up a bit.
Also on my radar is Western Digital (WDC) , which is breaking from a cup-and-handle pattern on the news from Intel.
I've mentioned TPI Composites (TPIC) as one of my favorite small-cap stocks. This stock is attracting some interest today, and I've added to my position.