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Central Bank Rescue Hopes Fuel Strong Market Rally


So here we are, blasting back above 1300 on the S&P 500, cruising towards the best 2-day rally in 6 months, flaunting our sudden ability to see value where only danger was visible earlier this week. And why? Because the ECB and it's new chief say they're now ready to act, while Germany is grappling with the idea of tapping out and submitting to global pressure to dig a little deeper to rescue their busted neighbors. Whether it turns out to be just a bounce or the beginning of an uptrend, investors nerves are being tested.

"I'm leery of any rescue operation," says Charlie Smith, Chief Investment Officer at Fort Pitt Capital Group in the attached video. "Central banks can really only do one thing, and that is buffer the collapse. They don't engender risk taking but they can keep the system from failing completely for an extended period of time."

One of Smith's biggest concerns is that "each rescue seems to have a lower and lower half-life," meaning that the past few efforts to contain the European debt and bank crisis have lost their oomph rather quickly.

Of course, Thursday will be Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's turn in the spotlight as he testifies on the economy before Congress; an event that could stir volatility, either up OR down, depending on what is or isn't said.

With odds like that, Smith says he's happier not trying to trade this bounce, but prefers the opportunities he sees as "steady Eddie type businesses" that are well run, produce solid and reliable cash flow, and revenue that can stand up to a protracted European recession. Names like Rockwell Automation (ROK), Honeywell (HON), Ingersoll-Rand (IR), and Boeing (BA) all make the cut, as do the Telecom and Cable TV groups. And of course, dividends are always a welcomed contributor toward total return at Fort Pitt.