After a wildly volatile trading session, U.S. stocks managed to end flat on Friday, following the monthly government jobs report and amid ongoing jitters over Syria. Still, the Dow snapped a four-week losing streak.
Stocks initially opened higher following the nonfarm payrolls report, but quickly tumbled near session lows after Dow Jones quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying that Russia would continue arms sales and aid to Syria, even in the event of an external attack. Major averages eventually rebounded, with the Dow hitting 15,000, as President Barack Obama eased immediate fears over Syria in his latest press conference from the G20 meeting.
However, the rally eventually faded in the final hour of trading. Overall, the Dow fluctuated in a wide 220-point range.
"I think what you've got here is two weeks' worth of Syria talk that has given the markets a reason to pullback and consolidate what's been a really good year, but the year is not over," said James Lebenthal, president of Lebenthal Asset Management. "Syria will be done with in a couple of weeks. There's no way that Russia and the U.S. are going to war over Syria. That's crazy talk. It's not going to happen."
In turn, Lebenthal said market declines have set up investors to get fully invested. He likes cyclical stocks, but didn't name any in particular.
Steve Grasso, director of institutional sales at Stuart Frankel, thinks traders should consider buying stocks here. Grasso called the housing stocks "a screaming buy" because if the Federal Reserve begins to taper its bond-buying program next week, he thinks it will be a non-event and not large in mortgage-backed securities.
"I think Treasurys will see the taper, even if it's light, but I don't think you're going to see it in MBS," Grasso said, adding he likes home improvement retailer Home Depot and homebuilder D.R. Horton at current levels.
"I don't think they do any MBS. The housing market is too important," echoed pro trader Brian Kelly, who agreed with Grasso that the housing stocks are good for a trade.
Kelly thinks traders can buy bonds and stocks until the Fed's upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting, but recommended using caution afterward.
For his part, pro trader Guy Adami doesn't like the housing market. He doesn't even think it's in the midst of a recovery. However, he recommends considering the SPDR S&P Homebuilders exchange-traded fund with a stop at the $28 level.