There's an ongoing debate within meteorological circles as to what determines the difference between a mostly sunny day and a partly cloudy one. It could be something as simple as mood or attitude that determines how a mixture of sun and clouds ultimately gets described but in the end, a seemingly simple word choice can have a profound effect on your plans, your outfit and more.
It's much the same for investors. Take Joe Quinlan, the chief market strategist at U.S. Trust who is expecting ''good but not great'' results from earnings season. In the attached video clip, Quinlan explains how he is positioning himself to win.
At the same time he is moving away from, or at least holding off on Financials (XLF), which have gained about 35% since bottoming last October. However, should the index of banks, insurers and REITs suddenly slide another 10-15%, Quinlan would step in.
"Europe's banking problem is basically Europe's problem, not America's. So any kind of sentiment or pullback related to that is a buying opportunity," he says.
Amidst a jittery market environment that is increasingly headline driven and dependent upon fresh data, Quinlan's other sector plays include taking some profits in Tech (XLK) and picking up some Utilities (XLU) which have lagged the market all year long after leading it in 2011.
And finally, a word of warning from Quinlan to those grumbling about a double dip recession or a hit to record profitability: "Don't underestimate how much U.S. corporations can still squeeze out of their workforce and their costs.''