Kass: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast - TheStreet

This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on July 22 at 7:21 a.m. EDT.

Slow down, you move too fast.
You've got to make the morning last.
Just kickin' down the cobble stones,
Lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy!
-- Simon and Garfunkel, " The 59th Street Bridge Song"

It is hard to remember a week-long period during which investors have felt so

groovy

and have abruptly turned or acted as bullish as these past few days of July.

Perhaps one shouldn't be surprised, as the current enthusiasm followed a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later environment that led to what I have described as a

generational market low

in early March.

"One hundred thousand lemmings can't be wrong." -- Author Unknown

Today, concerns of the emergence and steady effect of a slew of

nontraditional headwinds

and the likely specter of further growth-inhibiting public tax policy have been put on the back burner in favor of the animal spirit -- that is, the professional pressures of not underperforming investment benchmarks and in the safeness of crowd or herd mentality. The confidence of buying when stocks are climbing (just like the previous confidence in selling when stocks were dropping) remains the overriding investment mantra today, but, I suspect tomorrow might be a different story.

The most disturbing feature of the current business environment is the manner in which corporations are beating estimates. While it enhances the present profit configuration, it has the potential for a long and negative tail to the future. Cost-cutting, like another man's bread, will line the corporation with profits but, in the fullness of time, will not fill the belly of the consumer. Cost-containment has not only a finite life -- expenses cannot be cut indefinitely -- but has the direct impact of producing a continued, elevated and more pronounced negative effect on the future level of joblessness, providing persistent pressure on personal consumption expenditures. And, in a way, it produces an inherently lower quality of earnings and a less positive lever to P/E multiples than does the classical cyclical improvement in top-line or sales growth.

Few stocks meet my standards to buy today. For, as the Oracle of Omaha once wrote, "Optimism is the enemy of the rational buyer."

From my perch, it is time to pass on the market's positive momentum and pass on the quick sound bytes and staccato pace of "Fast Money." Rather, it is time to err on the side of conservatism and to consider the more pensive and contemplative analysis and common sense of "Slow Money."

Doug Kass writes daily for

RealMoney Silver

, a premium bundle service from TheStreet.com. For a free trial to

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and exclusive access to Mr. Kass's daily trading diary, please click here.

At the time of publication, Kass and/or his funds had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.

Know what you own: Some of the most active stocks in Wednesday's midday trading include Citigroup (C) - Get Report, Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report, Intel (INTC) - Get Report, the SPDRs (SPY) - Get Report, Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report, the PowerShares QQQ (QQQQ) and Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report.

At the time of publication, Kass and/or his funds had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.

Doug Kass is founder and president of Seabreeze Partners Management, Inc., and the general partner and investment manager of Seabreeze Partners Short LP and Seabreeze Partners Long/Short LP.