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[video] Quick Take: Stocks Stuck in Neutral as Traders Seek Direction

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After having two straight up days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are down and the Nasdaq flat. 

Jason Weisberg of Seaport Securities told TheStreet's Debra Borchardt he's surprised by the stagnant price action. He expected equities to have a good start to the new year, driven higher by positive earnings results. Earnings haven't been too bad, Weisberg added. 

Borchardt said many money managers use January to put fresh capital to work, which was also expected to help stocks.

But in a way they have helped. Weisberg suggested that while the major indices haven't seen a significant boost higher, a lot of the individual names have done well.

On the days where the market is down, it's not down a lot, he said. That indicates money managers are using the decline to add to positions or create new ones. Without that, equities would likely be much lower on the down days. 

As to the earnings reports from large financial institutions, Weisberg said the banks will continue to be profitable in underwriting, M&A advising and asset management while the investment banking business is likely to continue struggling. 

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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