Big Ben's Out of Bullets
Posted at 10:50 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 7
What did we expect? Did we expect Ben Bernanke to say, "We are cutting rates to minus 1% and forcing every man, woman and child to take a loan?"There is a reason why Ben Bernanke can't do anything. He's done everything. The bond market has done the rest. I continue to be perturbed by the idea that the stock market is at the beck and call of Bernanke. China and Europe are in charge. The Bernank's simply being as helpful as he can. The "diminishing returns" comment isn't totally on point. I mean, think about it, there's no return at all for Fed actions. The bond-market buyers are more powerful. We need people to want to take loans, and we need banks to loan. He's done as much as he can to make that happen. Now is time to focus on Banco Santander (STD) and Beijing. One other point, though; I have to hand it to the guy, he totally gets the financial cliff, he totally understands that Spain and Italy are the issues, he gets that Angela Merkel has to give. They just don't work for him.
Bottom Fishers Heed This Analysis Posted at 10:47 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 5 How much is an estimate cut worth? That's what the stock market is wrestling with right now. How much will a stock like Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) be hurt if the trends keep up that everyone sees around the globe? Caterpillar's a perfect model of what can go wrong, so it's nice to address the downside on a positive day. First, the earth moving and generator company is a worldwide powerhouse with sales on every continent and a big share taker because of reliability and superior technology. Now, Caterpillar traded at $116 back in February. It is at $83 now. That's a staggering, almost-30% decline. Caterpillar's been a hideous stock to own and is emblematic of almost all industrials here. Does it deserve that haircut? Let's consider what happened to CAT in the 2008-2009 Great Recession. Caterpillar earned $5.66 a share in 2008. The very next year it earned $2.19 a share. That's a staggering cut in earnings of roughly 60%.