Doug Kass fills his blog on RealMoney every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:
- How retail is doing better, but remains a challenge.
- How Doug Kass is moving slightly net long, for now.
Click here for information on RealMoney, where you can see all the blogs, including Doug Kass'--and reader comments--in real time.
Retail Sales Survey: Better, But Still Challenging
Originally published March 24 at 2:52 p.m. EST
The Evercore ISI Retailers' Sales Survey rose from 48.2 to 51.3, its highest reading since last August, as sales improved in March after a slow February.
Some participants continued to cite benefits to traffic and sales from the pickup in tax refunds paid out by the U.S. Treasury after slow processing in February.
January sales were generally a little better than December survey results but February sales were mixed with a number of companies citing weaker tax refunds as a headwind to sales.
March sales improved, but are challenged by the tough compares from the shift in Easter this year. Pricing power held steady at 26.9, after some improvement in the previous weeks.
This survey could stabilize the weak retail sector over the near term.
Moving to Slightly Net Long (for Now), but Not for Long
Originally published March 23 at 10:38 p.m. EST
In keeping with my tactical strategy discussed in my opener, I am now slightly net long.
I sold all my levered and inverse ETFs in the market's schmeissing earlier in the week.
I am maintaining all of my individual equity shorts--though I have pulled down (to small) my financial shorts.
I expect that Congress will come to a compromise on healthcare.
I will be moving back down to market neutral if the market strengthens, as I expect over the next day or two. (This is my trading timeframe.)
If I am correct, I plan to short again into further advances and I plan to move back into a net short position--as I believe we may have made a market top.
That said, most investors and traders should probably sit tight with greater than average cash positions.
Position: Long CPB large, HIG large, TWTR large; Short (small) MS, GS, BAC, C, JPM, Met, LNC.
, which Cramer manages as a charitable trust, has no positions in the stocks mentioned.