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Street: Buy steady stocks for a skittish market

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

A whirlwind year for macro events is leading investors to seek refuge in large-cap names with consistent and predictable trends.

"The mixed macro data has resulted in a bipolar market," said Savita Subramanian, head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch.

"Although we have not seen a 5 percent pullback since October, 3 percent pullbacks have been commonplace, and the S&P 500 has been in the tightest trading range we have seen in this recovery," she added.

The rise in volatility over the past several months relates to a combination of macro events such as a selloff in commodities, the debt crisis in Greece, a soft patch in global growth, a bear market in Chinese equities and a strengthening dollar.

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