Editor's note: This column originally appeared earlier today on RealMoney.com.
We are bouncing around randomly so far this morning. The market is at key support levels and has gotten oversold enough to provide a little buying, but the bigger technical picture is terrible, and we don't have any good news to motivate the bulls.
This is pretty typical of the action you'd expect to see after the
has fallen 1000 or so points in the last eight trading days. Nothing in the market goes straight up or down. The sellers who have been pressing will take a break and the countertrend flippers will try to get something going.
The worst thing about this market from my standpoint is that picking individual stocks is nearly impossible unless you are playing the value game. The only justification for buying things right now is that they are "cheap." I only care about "cheap" when there is a decent chart to go with it, and in this market, it is impossible to find a good buyable chart.
The problem I have with "value" is that it isn't nearly as concrete as analysts would have you believe. Valuing a stock requires a lot of judgment calls and subjectivity. It is not a black-and-white exercise. Even when you talk about stocks trading below cash levels, you still have a lot of other considerations, such as cash burn rates that may make the whole analysis worthless.
Until stocks stop going down and we get some better looking charts, I am going to ignore any comment about how "cheap" anything might be. The market will let us know when valuations actually matter again.
To read more from Rev Shark and other Wall Street pros, be sure to visit RealMoney.
James "Rev Shark" DePorre is the author of
Invest Like a Shark: How a Deaf Guy with No Job and Limited Capital made a Fortune Investing in the Stock Market
. He is founder and CEO of Shark Asset Management, an investment management firm, and he also operates
sharkinvesting.com, an interactive online community that serves and educates active investors. DePorre holds business and law degrees from the University of Michigan, is a member of the Michigan Bar Association and a former tax attorney and CPA. He lives in Anna Maria Island, Fla., with his wife and two children. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Rev Shark appreciates your feedback;