Internet Highflier Eludes Radar
This column was originally published on RealMoney on June 14 at 9:28 a.m. EDT.
I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of hearing about this Morgan Stanley (MWD) story. I mean, CNBC spent the entire day yammering on about a stock that was up a buck.
Offset that with the fact that we barely heard about Phelps Dodge (PD), which was up almost two bucks.
We did hear about it, but not with the frequency we heard about Morgan Stanley. And isn't it more important that Morgan Stanley will miss its earnings than the fact that the company has a lame duck CEO in Philip Purcell?
I thought about this as I watched the tape Monday. For weeks now I have been watching a four-letter ticker symbol fly by with more and more frequency.It seems that each time I see this symbol go by, it's up a buck or so. That makes me wonder why no one is talking about a chart that has almost quintupled in a month. What stock is it? Internet Initiative Japan (IIJI). I know nothing about this company except that the stock chart is reminiscent of what the Internet stocks looked like in 1999. Look at that increase in volume. You don't need to squint to see that. But let's look at the weekly chart. Because it is a weekly chart, it is not fully up to date yet, but last night it closed just shy of $14, which you can see was the old high back in the summer of 2003. So we have a stock that has almost quintupled and is now at its old high. And in the same time frame, the Japanese market has gone up about 5%. To me that adds up to a stock that needs a correction. And we know it's probably just a matter of time before the folks at CNBC discover it and start showing the chart every five minutes. That would probably be the icing on the cake. Another chart I noticed (although it's not nearly as dramatic as Internet Initiative Japan) is the chart of Starwood Hotels (HOT). I post this chart each day, and for weeks it has felt tired, but so have so many other charts, so I figured why make a fuss? However, years ago I stayed at a Starwood Hotel and they signed me up to be a Preferred Member. I think it's a type of frequent flier -- or "stayer," I suppose -- card, but I'm not sure because I don't believe I have ever stayed at another Starwood Hotel since. However, on Monday I received an email promotion from them for the first time. The only thought that came to my mind was, can business be that bad? I have no idea how business is there, but I do know that this chart is not a good one. We've had a rally right back into resistance and it has now failed there. And its decline Monday saw an increase in volume. For the market as a whole, we remain where we've been: The intermediate-term indicators are still pointing upward for now, but I am monitoring them very closely for signs they could roll over.
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