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Wall Street's eyes remain on Washington, trader says

  • The Dow and S&P posted weekly losses for the first time in 3 weeks.
  • Eric Marshall singled out Party City's stock

Investors are looking at politics more than anything else, one trader told CNBC on Friday.

"We've all been programmed to really watch what's going on in Washington," Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at Meridian Equity Partners, said Friday on "Closing Bell."

The U.S. stock market closed mostly lower as investors digested a tough week for retailers and mixed economic data.

Corpina noted that while earnings and economic data continue to be factors, news from the nation's capital is what investors look for.

"[It's] what's occurring and what's giving investors sentiment, confidence or reason to pullback," he added in an interview with "Closing Bell."

The S&P 500 notched down 0.15 percent to close at 2,390.90, while the Nasdaq rose 5.27 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 6,121.23.

Eric Marshall, a fund manager with Hodges Capital Management, took a closer look at small-cap stocks.

"The small cap stock environment, there is a degree of scarcity out there because you've had a real lack of IPOs and the IPOs that have come out have tended to be much larger," Marshall said. "What we have left today are companies that tend to be more mature as far as where they are in the life cycle — they tend to be more financially secure."

Marshall noted that Party City is a consumer discretionary stock that may be a good opportunity.

"They are the largest supplier of party supplies to Amazon and Walmart, so they're vertically integrated, and people are spending more and more money on those types of things, so I think even within consumer discretionary, which is a very hated area right now, you can find unique opportunities, you just need to dig hard for them," Marshall said.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down about 23 points, with Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth contributing the most losses.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed below 10 earlier this week, raising concerns about complacency in the market.

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