It was nice while it lasted. Earnings season gave a lift to stocks, but now that second-quarter earnings reports are largely behind us, the market is focused again on the global economy and U.S. macroeconomic issues. And so far that means the bear is back, and it will be difficult for stocks to show strength any time soon.

The reason, of course, has much to do with Fed's statements last week that the recovery was slowing. Comments from Cisco (CSCO) CEO John Chambers that corporate spending on technology could get pressured added to the market skittishness.

As the market tried to digest economic data on the consumer price index, retail sales, consumer sentiment and business inventory, a number of companies, including Goldman Sachs (GS), Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reduced their expectations of a recovery.

The upshot of all this? "Growth is going to be very slow in the second half," says Cort Gwon, director of trading at FBN Securities. "We're in a trading range. This market is capped on the upside, and we still have such high unemployment, slow growth and a lot of underlying problems with the housing market going forward."

Yet Gwon says the downside also has a natural floor because a lot of companies have significant cash on their balance sheets, which they can use to acquire companies, buy back stocks or pay out as dividends. If the market continues to fall, he thinks that companies will start to focus on buybacks.

How should investors play a market like this? One way, says Gwon, is through pair trades, where you remain market- and industry-neutral and you play one stock against another. He is also says covered-call strategies can benefit investors. In a video interview with DailyFinance, Gwon talks about where the market is now, where it appears to be heading and the kinds of stocks he thinks investors should have in their portfolio:


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Bob Doll has been thinking slow growth for awhile now:

http://www.wallstmemo.com/news/2010/8/17/guru-insight-blackrocks-positive-outlook-holds-strong.html

August 17 2010 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Randy

beachplus4 - Are you talking about the growth, prosperity, and budget surplus during the Clinton/Gingrich Administration when the Republicans controlled both the House and Senate? That wave of prosperity lasted until the the Radical Leftist Democrats took over the House in January 2007!

August 16 2010 at 4:38 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Randy

beachplus4 - Are you talking about the growth, prosperity, and budget surplus during the Clinton/Gingrich Administration when the Republicans controlled both the House and Senate? That wave of prosperity lasted until the the Radical Leftist Democrats took over the House in January 2007!

August 16 2010 at 4:38 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Drewboy60

The Obama cancer has been growing while the United Staes is withering.

August 16 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Drewboy60's comment
Drewboy60

United States !!!!!

August 16 2010 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Drewboy60

Slow growth if any, attributed to a slow thinking Obama.

August 16 2010 at 4:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Randy

And, if Borat O'Bama is for the little guy, why did he blow off an already scheduled address before the 100th Anniversary Boy Scouts of America Jamboree to attend two(2) $30,400.00 per plate dinners with his Wall Street Cronies, Show Business and Lavish Living Mega Wealthy friends on the Lower East Side of Manhattan?

August 16 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Randy

jspe7 tries to be clever with word!LOL For the first six years of the Bush Administration there was record low unemployment and unprecidented economic growth! It wasn't until the Radical Leftist Democrats took control of the House AND the purse strings in january 2007 that this country took a major turn for the worse! How many jobs can you create when unemployment is less than 5%? LOL

August 16 2010 at 4:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Randy's comment
jspe7

just will not face facts, will you-----Bush took a record surplus, and gave that and another ONE and a HALF TRILLION dollars of OUR Money to the rich and added it to the deficit. Then he decided to invade Iraq after thousands of WMD lies and added another TRILLION to the deficit. Then along came TARP, to bail out his crooked Wall Street friends to the tune of almos another TRILLION, added to the deficit
When he got thru ,he added a RECORD 5.3 TRILLION DOLLARS to our deficit. The rich got it all, we had the worst record of job creation, the most foreclosures and 8 MILLION jobs lost since the start of his Great Recession
Know what you got while the rich were raking it in and destroying our economy with their "FANCY MORTGAGE" schemes, (with Bush ignoring it all as long as his buddies were getting richer and richer) I will tell you---you got one of the BIGGEST TAX HIKES ever, and you probably never even knew it. The tax was when your gasoline went to almost 5 dollars a gallon (remember the secret talks between Cheney and the oil companies)----THAT'S A TAX----a Huge one, but that tax did not go to our Treasury, it went into the pockets of -----guess who-----the OIL COMPANIES.Wasn'tthat nice

August 16 2010 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lamborg1

this is some funny stuff

August 16 2010 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cesarvis

For all of the idiots out there, social security money is stolen from workers checks each paycheck. So those of you that want to continue to act as though social security is some sort of treat from the governement you need to pull your head from you a@@! If it is stolen from me damn right I EXPECT to get it back, every cent of it, but the system still sucks and should be abolished! At least if it was private I could save my own money for myself and not get only $ .70 on every dollar back as a payout when I retire....and that $ .70 is just a maybe. Do you not read the news Social Security is ALREADY in the red which is 15 years earlier than predicted because that wasnt supposed to happen until 2025! WAKE UP IDIOTS!!!

August 16 2010 at 3:35 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to cesarvis's comment
jspe7

where do you get your information from. Everyone I know, just about everyone, except those who died very early in their retirement, have received a LOT MORE than the money they put in
Do not hope that Social Security gets privatized because if you think you are going to do better, THINK AGAIN. Those "success stories", the Wall Street brokers are foaming at the mouth, hoping that some politician will finally succeed in "privatizing" it. These are the same people who during the glorious Bush years, took our retirement funds, IRAs , and other plans and cut them in half and in some cases , even more, while making BILLIONS in commissions
Want them to get your money-------they are just waiting to make HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS in commissions and they DO NOT CARE whether you lose it all

August 16 2010 at 4:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
cesarvis

I am already doing better on my own nit whit I have my own private retirement savings because I know I can not rely on social security because it will be broke, and yes my private plan will provide me with more. Sorry you seem to have your head in the sand! If I did not have to pay in to that broken system that could be even more I save for myself!

August 16 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Randy

jspe7 is very typical of your Radical Leftist Democrat! They hate capitalism and free enterprise and are very quick to bring up executive salaries and bonuses. Somehow they very cleverly or conveniently forget to mention their Lavish living, Mega Wealthy Union Bosses and their Salaries, bonuses, graft, and kickbacks from people like Borat O'Bama! They also seem to forget that investment in the stocks of those companies fund their very well padded pension plans and employ their lazy *sses!

August 16 2010 at 3:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Randy's comment
jspe7

Radical left, really, Randy. Vote Obama out and replace him with a radical conservative of which there are so many, and all the things that I pointed out to you WILL HAPPEN. The crooked Wall Street boys are just foaming at the mouth waiting to get their greedy hands on YOUR Social security money,and they will make HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS in commissions, and they could not care less how they invest it, or how much they lose for us, you and I, all of us
Ready to lose Medicare-----just do not have a serious illness because they will give you the other choice_____you can DIE, while they buy a Mercedes, WITH YOUR MONEY
Lavish living? Who did better that the rich with the 1.5 TRILLION DOLLAR 10 year tax cut that Bush gave them. Remember how it was gong to trickle down to the rest of us the peons, but what did happen -----we got NOTHING, while the rich got 95 percent of it, and what did it produce in jobs? Look up the facts, instead of calling people names. The RECORD Bush tax cuts fr the rich, created the fewest amount of jobs since the Great Depression------Look it up
The rich and the Wall Street brokers love people like you where you pass on the blame of these current woes on to the working Americans, and not on those who caused them

August 16 2010 at 3:43 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply