- the behavior of retail investors;
- why the market's recent response to acquisitions is a positive; and
- Goldman's response to the infamous New York Times op-ed.
Is the Retail Investor Back? Posted at 6:44 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 22. Is the retail investor back, or not? The other day I propounded the notion that quintessential retail stocks, such as Apple ( AAPL), Panera Bread ( PNRA) and Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG) keep running, and I have to believe it is because of individuals buying stocks. But the mutual fund outflows were also pretty staggering -- about $2.8 billion in the data released today. That would seem to indicate my thesis might be wrong. Plus, my friend Bob Pisani from the floor made it really clear that the low volume is further confirmation that there really isn't much retail investing to speak of. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll But what if we are all right? What if individuals have stopped caring for mutual funds -- the love affair over because of poor performance -- and they have decided to concentrate on buying actual stocks? Is that so far-fetched? I haven't seen any other explanation for what doesn't seem to me to be mutual fund buying. Take Apple. We know the mutual funds are underinvested in the name. We have had exhaustive studies on the issue. Doesn't that mean individuals are buying it? Doesn't that mean people think they can do better than the managers themselves, (which is something I wholeheartedly agree with)? I think that stocks may be a shrinking asset class, but that individual stocks are actually being bought if the story is good and the product or service is loved. Yep, this is an "out there" thesis, but unless someone has a better one, it's mine and I am sticking with it. Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, is long AAPL.
The Deal's the Thing Posted at 3:03 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 21. Nothing like a market that instantly rewards companies that acquire other companies. Watson Pharma's ( WPI) going crazy today because it is buying Actavis, a generic-drug maker that was off everybody's radar screen.
Goldman's Muppet Search Laudable Posted at 1:22 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 22. Now this is the Goldman Sachs ( GS) I know and respect. This is the Goldman Sachs that I went to work for. This is the Goldman Sachs I would hire as my banker. I am talking about the tough decision Goldman has made to find out who is calling their customers Muppets, the charge leveled by departing exec Greg Smith when he delivered his bombshell of a resignation letter to the New York Times op-ed page. Goldman will review email records to see who committed this violation of everything the firm has proclaimed to believe and will take appropriate action against those who trashed the firm's bill payers, the clients themselves. Before I get into why I think this is the correct approach by a firm that says it is beyond reproach, let me just say that I thought Smith's op-ed was a cheap shot. I would not exit a place that I have been a well-paid integral part of for a dozen years and whistle blow unless I had discovered illegal, not contemptible but illegal, behavior, reported it to the appropriate authorities and then watched the matter deep-sixed by the executives who are required to look into it by law.