- the market's selling disease; and
- why few tech stocks followed Cisco higher in the wake of that company's earnings.
Figuring and Fretting Over Obama's Next Move Posted at 6:58 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Nov. 15 It's like a disease. It starts with regular common stocks. Then it extends to master limited partnerships, and now the junk bond funds have caught it. The sell disease. It feels right now that it can't be cured and we just want to stay inside and avoid it. But the only way to get inside is to sell first! We all see the degradation in the common. That's plain enough to see with six out of seven down days. But have you seen these master limited partnerships? We own Energy Transfer Partners LP ( ETP) for the charitable trust, and it caught three different huge upgrades this week, and the stock is down for heaven's sake. What's causing it? First, these companies need capital, and it is almost as if the junk bond spigot that they tap into has gone dry. When you look at the declines in the publicly traded junk bonds you can only wonder whether there is any capital at all for high-yield right now. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll Second, nobody wants a secondary right now, but many of these companies pay their bills with equity. So the deals get sprung and even though they might be in the hole, like the deal MarkWest Energy ( MWE) did the other day, they can't seem to get their sea legs. The 8.5 million shares sold at $46.50 seem like they are all for sale! Which brings me to still one more fiscal cliff issue. There is no doubt in my mind that people are sizing up the tax breaks of the MLPs and thinking they have to go come 2013. Others are figuring out or are fretting that President Obama is going to slam on a carbon tax and make exploration for oil so much more expensive.
Cisco Stands Alone Posted at 7:03 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Nov. 14 Can Cisco ( CSCO) matter? Can Cisco play any more role of taking us higher than Home Depot ( HD) did? Or Kors ( KORS)? Or Dick's ( DKS)? Can it lift the market after days of morass and quagmire even as those high-profile retail plays with good numbers couldn't move us? Welcome to the world of pin inaction. As Cisco traded up last night I kept checking out all the usual tech subjects to see who was moving up in a correlative fashion. It was rather amazing. The only stock I saw people taking was Broadcom ( BRCM) and that's because, somehow, even as Broadcom's main business, some 50%, is smartphone, people view it as a cable box company and Cisco makes cable boxes. So Broadcom, which had been brought down when it should have traded up when its true analogue Qualcomm ( QCOM) reported its terrific numbers, is now going to get its due. I suspect the shorts, who had been leaning on this one betting Cisco would have a subpar number, will now have to scramble and cover. But there was no other pin action in tech that I could see. Microsoft ( MSFT), which had been going down already, looked to have another teeny downdraft off some more personnel changes. Intel ( INTC) had no lift. That stock's at a 52-week-low. It didn't impact Apple ( AAPL), and even though Cisco reiterated its bullishness about the Internet, I didn't see any Google ( GOOG) buying. Facebook's ( FB) caught up in the secondary, although I am inclined to buy that stock here because it has the growth that everyone else seems to sorely lack. . I could argue that EMC ( EMC) should go up as Cisco called them out as a good partner, but they didn't call them out as a partner who was killing it with them. The business that drove this quarter was largely telco, and that doesn't include EMC, although EMC storage from burgeoning big data did get mentioned positively.