NEW YORK (Real Money) –- When we talk about mergers and acquisitions, we think they run the gamut of industries. In fact, they don't, and the two areas where we have seen no consolidation are the two areas whose stocks are just acting horrendously at this moment.
This makes sense. When there is no consolidation, there's no ability to rationalize and take out costs. Without consolidation, there's way too much competition. Without takeovers, you just can't boost estimates, the lifeblood of all positive stock moves.
Which two industries am I talking about? The banking stocks and the industrials.
I have watched the sickening dribs-and-drabs selloff in the banking group for what seems like ages now. My Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust has watched SunTrust (STI), which reported a terrific quarter, see its shares pretty much give up a few pennies a day, except for the days when it gives up 25 cents or 30 cents. It's totally gut-wrenching.I look at the stock of Wells Fargo (WFC), and I wonder what happened to that spike to $53 on that fabulous quarter. KeyCorp (KEY), which was knocking on $15's door, now looks like it can slice through $13. Meanwhile, Bank of America (BAC) got permission to raise its dividend for the first time in seven years -- obviously something that wouldn't have been done if it were about to be bankrupted by the U.S. Justice Department. Yet the stock is now below the level where it had been when the firm had gotten the go-ahead. We know the degradation is occurring because interest rates on U.S. Treasuries have gone down to the point at which the earnings estimates -- which analysts set when these companies reported a month ago -- are now too high. They are all vulnerable to number cuts. Here's what's more important, though: This was a group that, before the Great Recession, used to be the subject of endless merger talk. Shares of a bank such as SunTrust couldn't go down like this without prompting the worry that a name such as BB&T (BBT) would take it over. TheStreet's Jim Cramer talks about his reasons why banks and industrials are not performing well:
WATCH: More videos from Jim Cramer on TheStreet TV | More videos from Jim Cramer
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $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
- 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