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It's Slow and Negative Out There, but Don't Worry

Posted at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015

The market action is slow and negative, as few folks seem very interested in trading today. If anything, the main driving force today is to close out positions and raise some cash for a fresh start in 2016. Breadth is running two to one negative, volume is abysmal and pockets of momentum very limited. In fact, what is most notable on my screens is the complete lack of bids in a number of small cap names.

I have a few odds and ends on watch, like Solar3D (SLTD) Weight Watchers International (WTW) - Get ReportUniversal Display (OLED) - Get ReportAdamas Pharmaceuticals (ADMS) - Get Report and Amira Nature Foods (ANFI) - Get Report, but there just isn't enough sustained momentum in this market to allow for aggressive action. It is random with a negative bias, which is about the toughest trading environment there is.

It is a good time to contemplate the year ahead. I'll have some thoughts on that later, but I believe the key to success isn't correctly guessing what may unfold, but to be mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with changing conditions. If we focus on the things we can control, then we can deal with whatever the market may dish out.

Don't spend too much time worrying about this action today. It may be the last day of the year, but nothing that is happening today means much.

At the time of publication, Rev Shark was long SLTD, OLED and ADMS.

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As 2015 Winds Down, So Does the Market

Posted at 10:41 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015

Volume and participation are slowing as market players look to wrap up the year. We had a nice day of mark-ups Tuesday with the big-cap FATMAN stocks (FB) - Get Report (AMZN) - Get Report (TSLA) - Get Report (MSFT) - Get Report (GOOG) - Get Report (NFLX) - Get Report taking the lead, but now there are signs that folks are ready to book what gains they have left and start the new year with plenty of cash on the books.

There isn't any big rush for the exits, but breadth is running not quite 2-to-1 negative and the FATMAN names are notably weaker, although Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report is showing a little relative strength.

As I mentioned in Columnist Conversations, I'm worried that there is so much concern about a weak start to 2016 that many will be looking to sell into strength to conclude this year. Technically, the indices are not in very good shape and seasonality turns down quickly after the first few days of January.

I've been a heavy net seller today and I see nothing new that I'm tempted to buy. I'll be eyeing some small-caps in January, but right now it looks like many are still being pressured by tax-loss selling. The January effect, which is a bounce in stocks beaten down by tax selling, may actually occur.

This poor action is going to drive some to close up shop and call it a year. A little extra caution is warranted.

At the time of publication, Rev Shark was long FB.

James "Rev Shark" DePorre is the author of

Invest Like a Shark: How a Deaf Guy with No Job and Limited Capital made a Fortune Investing in the Stock Market

. He is founder and CEO of Shark Asset Management, an investment management firm, and he also operates

sharkinvesting.com, an interactive online community that serves and educates active investors. DePorre holds business and law degrees from the University of Michigan, is a member of the Michigan Bar Association and a former tax attorney and CPA. He lives in Anna Maria Island, Fla., with his wife and two children. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Rev Shark appreciates your feedback;

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