Cramer's Blog: Hard Knocks Could Bring NDX OpportunitiesOriginally published on 7/7/2006 at 12:14 PM Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD)
Rev Shark's Blog: Market Worries Are a Welcome SightOriginally published on 7/6/2006 at 9:01 AM "This has been a great year for preventive worrying. Seldom in recent history have so many people worried about so many things that haven't happened." -- James Reston Investors can always find something to worry about. In good times, they worry that they aren't doing better. Greed is really nothing more than worry that we should make more money. In bad times, investors worry that things will never improve. They are weighed down by the feeling that market conditions will stay poor far into the future, and that they will never realize good profits again. Worry is the natural state of affairs in the market, and if we understand it and embrace it, we can make it work to our benefit. The key thing to keep in mind is that just because market participants are worried, it doesn't mean the market can't work higher. Quite often a high degree of worry is actually a prod that will push prices higher. Currently, the market is tremendously worried about one key thing: how the fight against inflation will play out and affect the stock market. Some are worried that the Fed will be too aggressive and push the economy into a recession by raising interest rates too aggressively. Others fear that a slower economy won't stop inflationary pressures, and that we already have conditions that will cause us to descend into the misery of stagflation. We worry about how the housing market is going to cool and hurt consumers, and we worry about how the job market is so strong that it will create inflationary pressures. The worries are obvious and everywhere, and they set the stage for the market to work higher. One important precondition that is in place that will help us scale the proverbial wall of worry is the presence of better technical patterns in the major indices. We hit a low in June, based for a couple weeks and then popped higher when our worries about what the Fed might do at its last meeting proved to be too negative. Yesterday we had a good bout of profit-taking, and we pulled back toward support levels, but still have plenty of room to the downside before we do any severe technical damage. The technical picture isn't bad, and when we combine that with the high degree of worry and concern over inflation, interest rates and the state of the economy, the conditions are ripe for the market to slowly move up. The most important factor of all right now is that no one is unaware of the potential problem of inflation. It is painfully obvious, and that means it has probably been discounted to some extent by the market. Our worries are priced in, and unless we get some newer and bigger worries, we probably have already done much of the selling we intended to do. What we have to watch for is how the market deals with worry. Do we hold key technical levels and shrug off news that confirms what we are already concerned about? That is what climbing a wall of worry is all about. It occurs when the market has priced in the issues that is troubling it to such a degree that bad news no longer results in more selling. With earnings season approaching, a somewhat better technical picture and plenty of worries and concern in the air, the conditions are ripe for us to slowly and unevenly climb higher. It won't be easy, and we will slip back down at times, but this is a market that is already causing so much anxiety that things are likely to improve. We have a slightly positive start this morning. There is some concern about another spike up in crude oil, but the weekly unemployment data is in line, and European markets are quite strong.
Cody Willard's Blog: New Media Revolution Hit of the Day
Originally published on 7/6/2006 at 2:48 PM So Microsoft ( MSFT) "secretly" talks up how it can design an MP3 player that can challenge Apple ( AAPL). Again. (I put quotes around "secret" because the reports in the press such as The Wall Street Journal are full of "off the record" quotes. It seems Microsoft truly has a new public relations strategy that entails "leaking" details to the press to create buzz. I take that as an ironic, but unsurprisingly transparent attempt to emulate Apple's PR strategies.)
The fact is that at some point, someone's going to design a player and system that will be functional enough to crack some of Apple's dominance. Microsoft is probably the leading candidate to do it, since Sony ( SNE) seems so clueless about its digital music strategy.
I think part of Sony's problem is that it owns too much valuable content and can't put a Chinese wall between the content ownership and the content-distribution business models. Sony, like so many other content owners, such as the music labels and movie studios, just can't seem to grasp that it has no control over what gets distributed where these days. The Internet has truly made the consumer king, and only Apple and Google ( GOOG) (and smaller companies like YouTube.com) seem to have figured that out so far. Still.
I will also throw in here that I don't expect the new iPods (and possibly the new living-room media device that I've mentioned before) to hit until November of this year. But we can expect an all-out blitz from the folks in Cupertino, Calif., when it does.
Look forward to more hits like this; I'm going to start a new daily feature in this blog, highlighting a "digital revolution" story each day.
At the time of publication, the firm in which Willard is a partner was net long Microsoft and Apple, although positions can change at any time and without notice.