It's not time to push the panic button: Insana

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Is the stock market suffering another "taper tantrum," in the "dollar doldrums," or "losing energy?"

All of these things are being used to describe the current selloff in stocks: They are effectively worries about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates sooner rather than later, the dollar cutting into exports and corporate profits, or falling oil prices hurting energy stocks.

In addition, there has been some technical deterioration in the underlying market technical indicators, like the NYSE Advance/Decline line.

Now, does this all mean that stocks are bound to fall farther, as the wall of worry becomes a little too steep to climb? Instead of selling in May and going away, should we beware the Ides of March, instead?

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It is hard to say, at this specific point in time. But certainly, there may be a few yellow flags being raised about the current condition of the market.

First, the market has been tired of late, with some non-confirmations emerging as the major averages hit new, all-time highs. Besides declines exceeding advances on the New York Stock Exchange, the number of 52-week highs has dwindled as the number of new 52-week lows has expanded.

That is a sign of underlying weakness in the broader market and sometimes presages a more pronounced decline in equities.

Now, we have seen this movie several times in the last few years, without the market suffering a full 10 percent correction.

Certainly, that could be the case again.

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The market may be just letting off a little steam, consolidating its recent gains and preparing another assault on new highs, after a pause that refreshes.

Having said that, some prudent hedging practices may be in order here, whether buying a small amount of puts on the major averages, for those who have exposure to ETFs that track specific indexes. One can also sell calls against individual stocks that have big gains, or buy puts, to protect profits as we review the behavior of the market in the days ahead.

I'm not in love with the notion that the Fed could raise interest rates as early as June, nor do I think a rapidly appreciating dollar will prove helpful to stocks for the reasons described above.

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This is a good time to reassess the market's cyclical outlook and watch, very closely, the key technical indicators that often foretell trouble in River City.

It's not time to push the panic button, by any means, but it is certainly time to take stock of the market's internal dynamics so that we can stay ahead of any possible cyclical turn in the market.

This is how profits are protected and portfolios are pruned to take advantage of future opportunities.