No, Alibaba IPO doesn't signal a market top: Pros

Alibaba not a top for market: Trader
Alibaba not a top for market: Trader   

Talk that Alibaba's high-flying IPO signals a top for the stock market is off the mark, traders on CNBC's "Halftime Report" said Tuesday.

"I think it's more reasonable to say the odds are we didn't make a major top because most of the time we're not making a major top. Those are hugely rare events," Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO Josh Brown said.

However, he acknowledged that the market tends "to have clusters of massive deals around tops, whether it's M&As or IPOs. This is true."

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In an article published Tuesday, MarketWatch Senior Columnist Mark Hulbert cited market historian Hayes Martin's concerns about overly bullish investor sentiment and overvalued small-cap stocks, as well as their divergence from large caps.

Hulbert, who said he has thought the market was near a top for some time, said the price divergence "is one of the most glaring parts of why the market may be on weak ground, and that is it's relying on fewer on fewer companies to keep going, and that's not a healthy condition."

OptionMonster's Pete Najarian brushed off the idea that the market had peaked last week after Alibaba raised $25 billion in its initial public offering.

"I think that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life," he said. "I continue to look at what's been working. … It's been about big caps all year."

Brace for a correction?
Brace for a correction?   

Najarian did note the divergence between large- and small-cap stocks.

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Joe Terranova of Virtus Investment Partners said it was time to protect long positions.

"Look, having a conversation whether Alibaba marks a top or not, to me, as everyone has cited, is really not where you should be focused," he said, noting that options are "incredibly cheap."

"You have to go out and you have to protect long positions in a market that's gone straight up all year," Terranova added, citing last week's good news from the Fed on monetary policy, the Alibaba IPO, Scotland's vote against independence and release of the Apple iPhone.

"I own puts," he said. "I think it's the right move on a trading basis right now, and I'll stay with that until I'm taken out by a new high."

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Rosecliff Capital's Mike Murphy also ejected talk of a top.

"Absolutely not. There's no question about it," he said. "Could we correct? Yes, but look at the action."

Murphy cited strong midday price action in such stocks as GoPro and Facebook.

"I think there's a lot more in this market," he said.