Well, we knew that the market was shaky even during yesterday's rally, which never felt convincing. By the same token, today's sell-off hasn't reached the intensity that is normally associated with a 200-point drubbing on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. I think that finally smart money is raising cash but not panicking. And, why not build cash when it seems as if everything is going to get hit whether there is good or bad company news. I happen to like when the market gets like this, although admittedly I don't like when subscribers get too nervous. The reality is at some point the market is going to have to take a hit, if it's on good earnings then I can live with that. I welcome that occurrence as it has gotten more difficult to find stocks based strictly on valuation.
The sell-off today doesn't underscore the enthusiasm that Wall Street has for the election victory of Scott Brown. Today's action, however, has much more to do with economic truths of today not the potential of nipping additional non free market principles. By the way, even though lower coal volumes hurt CSX Corp.'s (NYSE:CSX) earnings results the industry could be a big winner with "41" in position to derail Cap and Trade. Health insurance providers are an obvious winner, but delays in clean coal and the anti-coal mantra from the White House could just be empty finger pointing.
Today’s economic data wasn’t horrendous, but sketchy. The Producer Price Index (PPI) was hotter than expected on the headline but the core was actually cooler. Housing starts were less than expected, but permits soared, and I’m not sure why outside of weather. I’m not even sure the increase is a good thing.
There are many unanswered questions out there, including the direction of the economy. In the meantime, we may need China to continue to lead the global recovery so any talk of deliberately slowing their economy scares the living daylights out of people.
I have been trying to keep the powder dry and we've sent a fair amount of alerts over the past week or so to take profits and a couple of losses. I think that it's smart to have more cash than normal, not to panic but be aware.
Tidbits of the Day
By: Brian Sozzi, Research Analyst
- Instead of debating what cool new features will be found in Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) tablet, which signifies excess in the tech sector, we should be acknowledging the important innovation Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) is bringing to market shortly. By the end of 2011, the appliance maker will have 1 million appliances produced to tap into the smart grid. By 2015, all appliances under the Whirlpool and Maytag brand names will be smart grid friendly.
- Good promo from Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO). The company plans to send 200,000 used jeans (turned in from customers) to help those in need in Haiti. In turn, the first 100,000 people to turn in a pair of jeans will get a free pair of jeans from the company. I didn't see any promos like this from Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF).
- Retailers are profiting from the destruction in Haiti, go figure. Timberland (NYSE:TBL) has a limited edition t-shirt on its website made from local Haitian artists, with all sales proceeds going to the relief efforts. However, on sales of $160 pairs of "Earthkeeper" boots inspired by local Haitian artists only $2 will be donated to the relief efforts.
- There was a nice bounce in the ICSC/Goldman chain-store sales result from last week's decline. Spring items are on the floor at full-price and we are at the point where holiday bills are arriving. Positive sales growth is a positive indicator.
- Coach's (NYSE:COH) stock is getting pulled to the sidelines by the market today in response to its holiday quarter earnings report. The numbers were solid, the commentary positive, and subsequently I expect upward earnings revisions to next fiscal year's estimates. Please visit wstreet.com to read my analysis of the quarter.
We are going to sit on the sidelines this afternoon.