There is an undeniable trend in reality television: If the star of the show ain't a-yellin', they ain't doing their jobs of entertaining viewers -- and unhappy viewers mean kissing goodbye those precious advertising dollars. (Sorry, Facebook (FB), there are none for you). But this isn't yelling just for the sake of yelling; it's to enact change in a person that is badly in need of help. Look no further than Spike's "Bar Rescue," in which an expert bar developer swoops into save the finances of a troubled hole in the wall, or Fox's "Kitchen Nightmares," in which a world-renowned chef fixes restaurants and families. It's touching, I know. These are no longer "Little House on the Prairie" TV-watching days, that's for sure.
After some deep thought, I have concluded these trained professionals are on to something with their verbal shock treatment. Considering this is trading-day eight of my bearishness, and likely day eight of the bulls sending emails indicating that I am nutso, here is the deal on this particular move to the sidelines call. Before we can return for a swim in the pool of optimism, there are specific fundamental events that will have to transpire. Let's be brutally honest: We are flying near blind into important dates next month with tired themes for the bulls, and the bears are still doing dot-connecting rather than sitting back and watching the fruits of their labor.
Volume: When the heavy hitters return to their desks next week, stocks leveraged to the good fortunes of the U.S. economy had best perk up -- no excuses. If we can get FedEx (FDX) or UPS (UPS) working, that'd be great, but a key cog in the wheel of the bulls is that a strengthening labor market will transmit to reaccelerating gross domestic product growth in the third and fourth quarters. If there's no sign of life in companies bringing in above 50% of their annual revenue domestically, throw a caution flag. That's especially relevant since the Street is overly bullish on cyclicals.
Romney: Beneath all of the attack ads from both parties, there is a presidential challenger in presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney who has meaningfully closed the opinion-poll gap with a sitting president. The pendulum will have to swing further in order to pique the interest of the market to a stronger degree than we have seen thus far. Call me crazy, but if Romney pulls ahead of President Obama, the market may just place on its Reagan glasses. Yes, it's a different time and place, but the optics would be such that the economy could extract itself from a sluggish post-recession recovery quicker than feared -- and avert significant fiscal cliff downside.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV