Attention all car lovers.
There's another hated group that's catching a bid and seems to be breaking out: the autos. Notice General Motors (GM) - Get Report flirting with $36. I think people are recognizing that GM at six times earnings with the possibility of a better second half is worth owning at least for its 4% yield. Same for Ford (F) - Get Report with its 5% yield. Plus, the fellow travelers are doing well. Hertz (HTZ) - Get Report , which you should think of as one gigantic used-car company, has been up all week. Speaking of car dealers, AutoNation's (AN) - Get Report got buyers, and then the most beat-up group of all, the auto parts dealers, are seeing their stocks fly higher after a prolonged period where a tsunami of sellers visited them almost daily.
The proximate cause of the buying? Just like Target ignited its group with a pre-announcement of better-than-expected earnings, Lithia Motors (LAD) - Get Report , which retails and services new and used vehicles, pre-announced a better-than-expected quarter yesterday. Again, a savior that has people thinking, "Hmmm, maybe we were too negative on these stocks."
Mind you, though, I think these rallies are all minor chords in the symphony. They are not to be taken to the bank. They are to be taken to the trading floor.
That said, what typically happens now in my 37 years of esteemed experience is that tomorrow the analysts who cover these stocks get emboldened by "the action" and come out of their foxholes and fallout shelters and panic rooms and tell you to buy their stocks. The analysts will talk about all sorts of historical comparisons both for the stocks themselves and for the stocks vs. the entire stock market. They will say Target can be extrapolated to retail and Lithia to autos. Someone who has been a bear on energy will become a bull, saying it's pretty clear that once again oil held the $43 level and that means there's more demand than we realize and dwindling supply. Others will come up with a thesis to buy Chevron (CVX) - Get Report or even Occidental (OXY) - Get Report for their cash flows. Heck, why not? Occidental even boosted its dividend by a penny today. You don't boost to cut. Oh, and of course, some pop off from OPEC, sensing the right moment, is going to promise newfound discipline in worldwide pricing.
I say enjoy the trades. Remember, though, this is a market that loves technology, worships at the altar of healthcare and thinks the industrials area about to have a renaissance.
And who knows, now that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is done squawking and has driven the bank stocks down, maybe they can rally on their earnings tomorrow, too.
I like a market that rotates into the down-and-outers and embraces value even without mergers and acquisitions. It makes you want to trust it more. I trust it already, but evidence of reform among the penalized is always welcome.
Originally published July 13 at 3:14 p.m. EST. on RealMoney.
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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.