This is a theoritical topic to start with, but should be easy as we understand the concepts. www.thereformedbroker.com explains the investment pyramid as this:
It's the Asset Class, then the Market, then the Sector, then the Stock.
If the stock asset class is not in favor, then the stock market isn't either. If the stock market is out of favor, then the sector will not matter that much. If the sector isn't working, then the stocks within the sector won't work either. Conversely, when stocks are in favor, and the market is trending up, and the sector is under accumulation, stock-picking is redundant, almost anything in the right sector will work.
In case you didn't hear me up in the balcony - Asset Class, then Market, then Sector, then Stock. You live in an asset allocation, ETF'd world right now. Why fight yourself?
In a down-trending tape, feed your buy recs and price targets into a shredder. In an up market, dart-throwing monkeys can go head-to-head with the best and the brightest out of Wharton.
Over-generalizing? Of course. Could this change? Of course. But still.
That's how it is.
My Notes: In the USA, the stocks as an asset class are not really in favor. What about India? Reader comments are welcome. More important, can we have an objective method of determining favored or not favored?