This article appeared Sept. 5, 2013, on Real Money. To read more content like this, + see inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE Click Here NOW.
The most notable thing about the market's recent action is how strong it is in select individual stocks like LinkedIn (LNKD), Yelp (YELP), Netflix (NFLX) and others, even though the indices are barely moving. If you try to evaluate how this market is functioning based only on the indices, you will miss the fact that there is very healthy action in quite a few stocks. Buyers are still looking for entries but they are focused on names that don't drive the indices to a great degree.
This select buying has prevented any real fear or negativity from creeping in. Sentiment is still upbeat and many market players are optimistic that the market will head higher as the tapering issue clarifies.
The reaction to the monthly jobs news tomorrow is going to be a particularly interesting test of the market mood. The likelihood is that strong numbers will produce a negative reaction, as it will help accelerate the Fed's bond-buying exit. I'm not sure that the issue is that simple, but we should gain some sense as to whether this market fears that the economy is improving fast enough to push the Fed to start unwinding.Regardless of the big picture, there are good individual stocks to trade. Don't let the macro blind you to the opportunities in the micro. Have a good evening. I'll see you tomorrow. Not a Gambling Man After a little volatility this morning, the market is barely moving as players stand aside ahead of tomorrow morning's monthly jobs report. It's always important, but it's particularly important this time because many view it as being a key to how aggressive the Fed will be at tapering off its bond-buying. The Fed has made it clear that employment is probably the main factor in the tapering decision, so we can expect the market to move sharply when the news hits. The bulls say that we know the economy is improving and tapering is inevitable. They view the softness over the past month as sufficient to price in near-term tapering. The bears say that if this is the start of the reversal of quantitative easing, we haven't even begun to price it in. If the report is stronger than expected, it is going to accelerate the tapering process and that is going to be a major market negative. So far, the buyers aren't too worried. They have seldom been punished this year for their optimism, but the news tomorrow is going to be very tricky. You have to be a gambler to make a big bet on this news event. There continues to be good action in many individual stocks. We have close to 200 new highs and positive breadth. Speculative interest remains high, particularly in China names. Building on the Rally The market is building on Wednesday's rally and has good buying interest. The bulls are starting to think that maybe tapering has been priced in and Syria may not matter that much. And it's tough to rule out the chances of another V-shaped move when we have had so many the last few years. Money managers have been lagging all year because they have underestimated the ability of this market to come back immediately after a struggle. What has worked best is to quickly buy the dip and stick with it, even when we have low-volume moves into obvious resistance. Overhead resistance has been largely irrelevant, but we have a lot of it now, so it will be interesting to see if potential tapering changes that dynamic. I'm holding names I've mentioned before, like NQ Mobile (NQ), Facebook (FBK), JinkoSolar (JKS), BioTelemetry (BEAT), Century Casinos (CNTY) and Sarepta (SRPT), and I'm not doing much new at the moment. We have the big jobs report tomorrow morning, which may sideline some buyers this afternoon. I'll keep stops tight and take profits into strength, but I'll keep digging for new ideas as well. At the time of publication, Rev Shark was long NQ, FB, JKS, CNTY and SRPT. Syria Issue Simple for Market Buy on the cannons, sell on the trumpets. -- French Proverb The market is showing signs of coming out of the recent correction. Whether it does continue to bounce will be determined by the reaction to upcoming jobs news and the vote on bombing of Syria. The Syria issue has provided an excuse for some recent selling, but the market is unlikely to dwell on this long. In fact, many market players will be looking to buy at the moment any hostilities begin. That proved to be the perfect buy point when the second Gulf war started in 2003 and the thinking now is much the same as it was back then. Syria is no match for the military might it faces and will be quickly overwhelmed. Of course, there will still be political issues with Russia and other countries, but the actual attacks are not going to last for long. The more complex issue for the market is the upcoming jobs news and how it impacts the potential for tapering. The belief right now is that a strong report will assure that tapering begins. The bond market has been pricing this in for a while and the bigger question is to what degree have we already priced it in. Is the market fully discounting tapering at this point? The problem with tapering is that it is just the start of a new trend. The market profited from quantitative easing for years and now it is going to be slowly withdrawn, which is going to create a headwind. The hope is that the negative of Fed tightening will be offset by a strong economy, but the market is so used to having a friendly and accommodative Fed it is going to cause some disruption regardless of how the economy is progressing. We are going to hear much about tapering as the jobs news hits and there is a very good chance that good jobs news is going to be a market negative. The market seems to be anticipating that jobs won't come in too hot and is holding up fairly well. The correction that started around Aug. 1 has been petty mild overall. We did crack 50-day simple moving average support and had one good failed bounce. but under the surface there has been very good action in individual stocks. Speculative interest in momentum names has stayed quite strong and we have not seen the sort of rush for the exits that takes stocks down across the board. In fact, if you have be selective with your buying the last few weeks you have probably done pretty well despite the overall downtrend in the indices. Typically the advice for momentum players is to move into cash and avoid buying longs when the market downtrends like it has the past month or so. In this case that was not particularly good advice. There has been plenty of good buys and many stocks like Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) and Facebook (FB - Get Report) have completely ignored the market softness. Seasonality continues to favor the bears and the indices face some overhead resistance, but the market is showing signs of finding support and turning up. Jobs and tapering are going to be our catalysts and right now the bulls look ready to buy the news. My guess is that the market has already discounted tapering to a great degree and we will rally on the jobs report unless it comes in much stronger than expected. We have the ADP number this morning, which will have some impact, but it's the monthly numbers tomorrow that will be far more important. I'm leaning bullish at this point and will be looking for new buys. At the time of publication, the author was long FB, but positions could change at any time.