What were we thinking when the S&P 500 futures took up the slower growing PepsiCo ( PEP) on a day when the Fed decided it wasn't going to cut back its bond buying. Silly us, ring the register on PepsiCo and go buy the stock of a shirt company, which is how PepsiCo can drop $1.40.
McDonald's ( MCD) gives you a nice 5% dividend boost, bringing the yield up to 3.3%. But who needs a fast-food-restaurant stock when we can buy a once-lagging real estate investment trust company like Federal Realty ( FRT), which I had on Mad Money last night? Ah, but wait a second. As much as the Fed has decided to fix things so that all is better domestically, what do we do with the stocks of companies we know aren't having good quarters but could be saved by the Fed next quartet? Will the market look through a bad quarter to get to one that will be boosted by a non-taper? I don't think so, which is why the market is selling down the stocks of the homebuilders that it took up yesterday. We know from the announcement of sales of previously owned homes today that while the numbers were at a six-year high, the commentary from the National Association of Realtors was incredibly downbeat. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the association, called it "the last hurrah" and said that the market may be experiencing a "temporary peak" as rising rates and declining affordability bring that number down in the future. Hardly reassuring. Meanwhile, if the Fed is making things easy again, that's terrific for traveling and spending, right? Then why did the market take the Morgan Stanley downgrade of Disney ( DIS) so hard, whacking that stock for a $1.35 loss?
Plus, it's hard as all get out to figure out what to do with the financials. Lots of banks and insurers were going up because they do better in a rising rate environment. But now we have a falling rate environment, so we have to sell what we liked so much because of the Fed's actions. So the regional banks all go down the drain and big insurers like Prudential ( PRU) or Lincoln National ( LNC) (which I talked about last night as one of the best performers in the market this year) get crushed. But wait a second -- Travelers ( TRV) catches an upgrade and flies up a dollar because its quarter's terrific. Who can keep up with this insanity?