NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The theme of this year so far is a choppy market. The market cannot decide if it wants to go up or down. It's a stock-pickers market. What I mean by that is traders and investors need to work harder to find quality ideas that will work no matter which direction the market is going.  

In the market bull's favor is: 

-- ECB quantitative easing coming in larger than expected.

-- Potential for China stimulus if that economy keeps slowing down.

-- United States economy heading in right direction. 

-- The Federal Reserve may be forced to delay raising interest rates. 

In the market bear's favor is:  

-- Potential for slowdown in Europe and China worsening.

-- The possibility that the U.S. economy could be impacted by the slowing growth overseas.

-- The strong dollar is impacting U.S. companies that do business overseas and we are seeing that in their earnings reports.

-- The Federal Reserve so far has not budged off plans to raise rates this year.

With no real direction for the markets, traders and investors have to work harder to find quality ideas.

On January 21, 2015 I boughtThe Habit Restaurants (HABT) - Get Report as a long bet at $30.67 in anticipation that it would get sympathy with the popular Shake Shack IPO that is coming to market this week. It hit over $33 today and sits in the $32 range as of the writing of this article. 

Some follow up on some of my other ideas this year:

(FSI) - Get Report (which I wrote about here) announced positive results for its evaporation retardant. I am still long from $1.19 and it is currently $1.35.

(EPRS)  (which I wrote about here) hit $8.92 after my $6.45 entry. The company recently announced an unexpected shelf filing. I am still long from $6.45.

(TRIL) - Get Report  (which I wrote about here) hit $15.49 after my $7.95 entry. This remains my favorite story for 2015 -- I'm still long.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long HABT, FSI, EPRS and TRIL.