Trader Be Nimble, Trader Be Quick

 | Oct 20, 2016 | 10:45 AM EDT
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Stock quotes in this article:

FB

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axp

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srpt

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lnth

,

petx

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emes

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hnrg

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unt

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spn

The European Central Bank decision and the press conference by its president Mario Draghi didn't do much to move the market, but we do have a little volatility this morning. The dip buyers have made a couple tries and have the indices slightly positive.

The biggest negative is a reversal in oil after hitting some new 12-month highs yesterday. Traders were hoping for some continuation but consolidation has set in, which isn't a bad thing. The big-cap FANG names that led yesterday are weak today, but Facebook (FB) has shrugged off the early pressure and is leading that group. FB is my largest position at this time as I'm looking to play strength into its earnings report in a couple weeks.

Earnings news was mixed, but American Express (AXP) was the star of the show and is attracting some chasing.

There was no mention in the debate last night of drug pricing, which is helping biotechnology bounce a bit today. Fear of campaign rhetoric about unethical drug prices has been a headwind for the group as the market hasn't even tried to sort out which companies are the real villains. There is some bounce in the group today. I'm still holding smaller positons in names such as Sarepta (SRPT) , Lantheus (LNTH) and Aratana (PETX) , but I have no inclination to add at this time.

I'm looking for some playable pullbacks in oil names such as Emerge Energy (EMES) , Hallador Energy (HNRG) , Unit (UNT) and Superior Energy (SPN) . If oil can make another push higher, names such as these should pop out of good chart setups.

This trading range action is quite tedious and the S&P 500 is already rolling over again as I write. It's a very hard market for aggressive size, but there are short-term opportunities for the nimble.

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