had his chance!
This past weekend,
James J. Cramer
challenged the analyst to
price target on
. The Internet titan had closed at 253 on Friday, and Blodget's target was well shy of the new mark. But Blodget demurred. Two trading days later, Yahoo! is at 348, in what's nothing short of a startling move by a score of technology and telecom stocks.
Check out this group of stocks:
What the heck is going on? Readers of
have had some hint of what's been happening already. Several weeks ago, Cramer came up with an index of
Red Hot stocks, giving us the first sign that something odd was unfolding. Then, he and
, a member of his staff steeped in tech, started a rotisserie competition based on swiftly rising
B2B e-commerce stocks. This is where the heart of the action has been lately.
But the movement seems to be widening. While the chart (which
recently labeled the "Parabolic Portfolio") shows some of the familiar faces, notably Yahoo!, it also includes a handful of other ideas like semiconductors and computers -- hardly Red Hots of the recent past.
But as the game widens, it becomes more dangerous. Wall Street pros talk about insane valuations, shouting their throats dry. Individuals, watching the improving stock prices, pour more money into funds aimed at these stocks. Liquidity follows hard, and the stocks start heading higher.
That's a familiar paradigm, buttressed by improved earnings outlooks and modestly improving fundamentals. The nitro for this ride, however, may be coming from a couple of one-off events. The smaller is that the year-end is coming hard upon us, and fund managers are nervous about losing ground -- any ground. They are desperate to hold winners like
, and they're eager to dump losers. They don't want to have a horde of cash on their books when they cross the finish line.
The bigger piece, however, might be a rapidly diminishing fear of Y2K-related problems. Some investors sat back in the past few months, expecting some kind of skid ahead of Y2K. The skid isn't coming, and that money is racing back into the market, lest these clever investors look like fools. It's hard to measure how much liquidity that represents, but it would seem to be something. And that money is primarily chasing the hot stocks in tech and telecom.
So is this the new world of perfection, one that's even better than the last world of perfection? I would urge some caution. This move is focused in some roaring stocks, and some of the old generals are not participating so fully. For instance,
are flagging, unable to keep pace with the new pack of technology companies. In fact, Mister Softee and Intel act more like gracious Dow companies these days than rock-and-roll tech stocks. Time for them to move to the Big Board.
At times like this, I read as much as I can to figure out what's happening. I avoid redundant stories like the dead-tree
story on Stuart, the goofy
office boy. You could've
read that on
back in April! More to the point, Griffin had a great
piece over the weekend looking at the
I also check out our
message boards and read Cramer,
and others. Cramer loves the tech side of this market, and Greenberg finds himself inexplicably bullish. Capitulation on Herb's part? Is everyone capitulating? There's a lot of cash flying into the stock market right now, shares are gyrating madly and you have to grab for every piece of information you can find to make sense of it all.
Lots of money is getting made in this white-knuckle Yuletide season. Stay on your guard.