Here comes the market collapse.
The market is fighting like hell to regain its January highs. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500 managed to overtake their April highs this month. Next test is their March highs before a possible run at the peak in January. But the action in the market has felt sluggish, which should make any intelligent investor concerned about what may really be about to happen to stocks.
Opined long-time market bull Jim Paulsen of The Leuthold Group: "From the market low, leadership has been comprised by a weird combination of sectors, raising questions about whether this rally is sustainable?" Since the market's low, noted Paulsen, the top five performing S&P 500 sectors were an inflation play (energy), two growth plays (technology and consumer discretionary), and two traditional defensive sectors (utilities and real Estate). Leadership among small-cap stocks has showed a similar path.
Meanwhile, the top four sectors leading the Russell 2000
"Maybe the latest rally will soon carry to new record highs; but does leadership seem sustainable when it's composed by rising oil prices, rapid new-era unit growth, and two sectors usually only bought when investors expect the stock market to collapse?," Paulsen concluded. Investors should be wondering the same thing over Memorial Day weekend.
Names on TheStreet
Right after PayPal's (PYPL) investor day ended (the info from their exec team was well-received by the market), I hightailed it to an empty room upstairs in the hotel to chat with Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari. The full interview will be live on Saturday seeing as I am still in full travel mode. But I can tell you this key player in pulling the U.S. out of the 2008-2009 financial crisis isn't too happy about new regulation that eases business conditions on the banking industry.
Said Kashkari on whether we are sowing the seeds of the next financial crisis: "Human history is full of examples of financial crises, and we repeat the same mistakes we made in the past because we forget the lessons. It has only been 10 years and we are already forgetting how devastating the financial crisis was, we are already convincing ourselves that everything is fine again and we can relax some of the rules and we will be fine in the future. The fact is we are going to repeat the same mistakes again, it's a question of when not if." Hopefully before the next Great Recession, you are retired with $100 million in cash in the bank.
Speaking of PayPal, huddled up quickly with PayPal CEO Dan Schulman on the sidelines of the company's investor day. PayPal's coming efforts to consolidate the scattered world of rewards points could be pretty big. All in all, PayPal proved to investors that it has a ton of interesting things going on internally designed to not only sustain high growth rates, but possibly accelerate them beyond 2020.
Stocks Could Crater Memorial Day Weekend (Watch):
Around the Horn
(1) As has been jammed down our throats the past day, Netflix (NFLX) is poised to eclipse Disney (DIS) to become the most valuable media company on Friday (Disney market cap $152 billion). The feat was momentarily achieved in Thursday's trading session. Many on Wall Street who continue to discuss this power change are missing the point on why Netflix is overtaking Disney as the most valuable media outfit. Investors are betting on two things. First, Disney or Apple (AAPL) (or as TheStreet suggested, Microsoft (MSFT) ) buys Netflix within the next two years. Second, the streaming movement is just that -- a movement that is not only powerful today but will become more powerful into the future. That is one reason among many that Roku (ROKU) will eventually be bought by someone, too.
(2) If you have a hunger for taking risk and plan to buy stocks into an unpredictable Memorial Day weekend, TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer has a good spot to lock in on. "If I am right, and inflation is peaking because freight costs are coming down and oil is rolling over then we have some strong opportunities to make some money here. In the food business two stocks stick out: PepsiCo (PEP) and Conagra (CAG) . For more insight into Cramer's call, head on over to TheStreet's sister publication Real Money.
(3) Tesla CEO Elon Musk continued to attack journalists on Twitter overnight. The clearly exhausted Musk said: "The Tesla facility is open plan & we're not going to erect walls everywhere for a journo tour. I know journalists too well & they are some of the worst & best human beings I've ever met. You're the former." He added: "I've just had it with sanctimonious journalists who appoint themselves protectors of the public interest & yet believe that same public is too stupid & immoral to assess their credibility. It's amazing that you don't understand how insufferably hypocritical that is. Wow."
Nothing else to add to Musk's Twitter meltdown this week, except to say there is likely a dose of bad news coming over the next month.
PayPal, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Apple are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS.