Of course, the big issue in Europe is that the economies of the nations there are getting weaker, not stronger, as austerity continues to drag them down. We have to expect a further leg down now as capital flows get all mixed up and the weaker countries sustain another shock to their business confidence. That's the more logical takeaway and lasting impact of Cypress -- not runs on the weaker Italian and Spanish banks to put money in Deutsche Bank (DB), and not any fleeing from the euro to the pound and the dollar.
Now, we have to recognize that something has changed between the two continents. We are seeing a stable to expanding economy here in the U.S., while Europe remains unstable and in contraction. With the exception of the big international banks, like JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C), our banks are much better-capitalized by rigorous standards, as compared with the light touch -- some would say ridiculously light touch -- of the European authorities.
So the spillover is contained, and much more so than it was last year or the year before. In other words, Europe can't take us down one-for-one, but it will continue moving the flows into more domestic companies and small-caps, particularly related to healthcare, regional financials, oil-and-gas and the transports, which have been totally on fire.
Which brings me to the real issue that I fear. The reason I've said I don't want to get to the last 1% to 2% of the rally is precisely because so many stocks are too hot.Let me give you a sense of what we are up against. Whole sectors of this market have just gone totally parabolic, with a completely unsustainable set of moves that have to be repealed before they can be bought on weakness. I am thinking here of almost every healthcare and healthcare-related stock, from the major pharmaceuticals that have run so much to the biotechs that are crazy hot to the ancillary-medical-device names and hospitals. The charts of such stocks as Becton Dickinson (BDX) and Stryker (SYK) are insanely overextended.
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