Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things Are Beginning To Get Good Again

Good. It's good that credit losses are dropping, and dropping fast, including residential housing, despite myriad jeremiads from the press that say otherwise. Nice. Nice that employment numbers were out of synch with the last few weeks. Nice. It's good that President Obama doesn't seem to want to push up the capital gains and dividend taxes. (Doug Kass points out that Congressional approval is needed, but one of the great shams of this era is that there is a notion that somehow Congress has a mind of its own. Congress is Obama.)

Good. It's good that retail sales aren't that horrid. In fact, they are better than expected. Remember the last time that happened? The market went dramatically higher on it.

Nice. Nice that we got no pre-announcements of bad quarters, typically meaning quarters that will be 5% to 10% worse than the estimates. (Not all play by this rule any more, but there are enough that do.) Nice. Nice that the auto sales were far better than expected. Go buy some F; it's going higher.

Good. It's good that the market can see good news for good news and that PG and BA are moving up.

Nice. Nice that stockpiles for oil tumbled and rail-car loadings are up.

Nice. Nice that congress is on vacation.

Combined, these are all reasons to buy. But the best reason to buy is the golden bearish cross -- don't you like that technical/golf allusion? It works. It works because the S&P pressure brought down so many stocks, ranging from the soft goods like PG to the hard goods like NUE (still attractive), that you can pretty much pick and not be worried that you are paying anything remotely expensive, given how low things have gotten; see COST.

Oh, all right. Let's play the game. Obama's bad for stocks. The euro's still a worry (although the shorts have been overrun). Spanish bank bond haircuts. Bad GS numbers. Baltic Freight. Housing going down (even though it is going up). Low mortgage rates as a sign of no demand (even as so many are going to refinance) Municipal bankruptcies. No hiring.

But you know what? If consumer balance sheets are getting better, if housing defaults are decreasing, if corporate balance sheets are getting better and refinancing is occurring -- three-and-change percent TWC notes? Holy moly! I remember when it was almost insolvent! -- is it right to be as bearish as you might have been?

Especially when capital gains and dividend taxes could remain low -- something I thought was an anathema to Obama.......

Nice enough to think that at long last, the clouds are lifting. Or, even better, just maybe, they've lifted.

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