The market is not performing well as we head into the midday. Sellers continue to outpace buyers, despite the numerous analyst upgrades we reported this morning. Let's zero in on the action.


Obama-care Plays: Cigna ( CI), UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), Aetna ( AET) and WellPoint ( WLP) are all trading nicely to the upside.

Upgrades: Dicks Sporting Goods ( DKS), Marvell Technology ( MRVL), Steel Dynamics ( STLD), and Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) are managing to hold on to early gains.

Shanda Interactive ( SNDA): Holding up well on this weak market tape.


Downgrades: BJ's Wholesale Club ( BJ) and Bank of NY/Mellon ( BK) are getting hit on this morning's Wall Street downgrades.

Oil ( USO): Prices are lower and that is dragging oil-related plays like Chevron ( CVX), BP plc ( BP) and Transocean Ltd. ( RIG) down as well.

Transports: Rails are down with Burlington Northern Sante Fe ( BNI) leading the way lower.

High-Beta Financial plays: MasterCard ( MA) and Blackrock ( BLK) are performing poorly today.

Fertilizer plays: Potash Corp ( POT) and Mosaic ( MOS) are leading the way lower.

Retail Plays: Coach ( COH) and Sears Holdings ( SHLD) are not showing any signs of recent leadership.

Other Well-Known Poor Performers: American International Group's ( AIG) reverse split last week was a big win for short-sellers to reload at higher prices. Boeing ( BA) has broken below $40.

High-Beta Trouble: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters ( GMCR) and Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) are trading lower.

Internet Giants: Google ( GOOG) is threatening to break below $400, while Amazon ( AMZN) is showing some weakness again.

Oil ( USO) prices are lower again today, as Monday's afternoon rally gains have evaporated so far today. Gold ( GLD) is trading flat today, while Treasuries ( TLT) are starting to see some buyers. The market is not getting much help from transport plays.

I am continuing to watch FedEx ( FDX) for evidence the packaged-goods play is going to be the gauge to watch. Financials are fairly flat to slightly down. We have not seen any noticeable strength in that sector for a while as well.

Commodity stocks that appear to be getting some help this morning from some Wall Street calls as names like Freeport McMoran ( FCX) are close to breaking down. Not seeing as much buying in the consumer/non-cyclical plays as we have been. I'm watching this very closely.

I would take a look at the ultrashort plays as we head into the afternoon session for a long play. My favorite three plays are the DUG, SKF, and SRS. I would keep the positions manageable and be prepared to hold if it appears that the plays will close near the highs of the day. As always, use proper stop-loss orders to protect any profits and minimize losses.
At the time of publication, the author had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tom Reese and Paul Rubillo are senior editors of Visit for more dividend stock ratings, picks, news, and analysis for long-term and income-seeking investors.