Clearly, the market wants the fiscal cliff resolved and in a way that doesn't destroy or seriously hurt the economy. Today was proof. President Obama and House Speaker Boehner's 45-minute meeting generated a solid market advance in excess of 1%, despite a horrid Empire State Manufacturing index release. The days remaining until "the cliff" are dwindling fast. But Boehner has indicated he wants to compromise by apparently agreeing to raise taxes on America's wealthiest and to raise the debt ceiling. Clearly, he wants spending cuts in return. It is likely that they will agree on enough issues to "kick the can" full of remaining issues down the road a ways. While it's not certain by any means, it does look that way at the moment.
Last week, the market made little progress as Small-cap Value led the way, up a meager 0.37%. Large-cap Growth was the worst at -0.41%. There's really not much difference, but value did lead the way over growth, and should continue to do so until some reasonable settlement is made between the President and Congress. The sectors that look the most attractive to us are Healthcare, Technology and Telecommunications. Housing may be a solid industry choice, but we get New Housing Permits, New Home Sales, and Existing Home Sales this week. Let's take a look after we see the numbers. Durable Goods, Leading Economic Indicators, Personal Income, Michigan Sentiment, and Jobless Claims will also be released late in the week, but we doubt these numbers will impact the market nearly as much as the political tug-of-war.
With Christmas next week, we will unlikely see much activity until late next week, unless the fiscal cliff is resolved or substantial progress is made. I would keep your investing powder dry until the agreement is close at hand, in which case, we have a few conservative ideas below.
Four Stock Ideas For This Market
This week, I selected four highly ranked small-mid-cap GARP (growth at a reasonable price) stocks from Sabrient's universe for you to consider because the market has been favoring those market caps.
Ingredion Inc. (INGR) - Consumer Non Cyclical
Smithfield Foods, Inc. (SFD) - Consumer Non Cyclical
Oil States International Inc (OIS) - Energy
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) - Healthcare