NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Sometimes these moves really do take your breath away.
Yesterday we had rallies in a couple of segments that were nothing short of stupendous. The first is in regular pharma, specifically the central-casting, don't-worry-be-happy stock of Bristol-Myers (BMY). You know I love Bristol-Myers, but how the heck was that stock up 5% in one session? And why wasn't it even noticed? What was that about? I think it had so do with the fact that Bristol-Myers is beginning to trade like a biotech stock. In fact, yesterday it beat the performance of most biotech stocks as it laid out its lung cancer plans at a Cowen analyst meeting. I didn't find anything that revelatory, yet that's really the point. It didn't need to in order to jump 5%. When you rerate a stock from traditional pharma to biotech, as BMY is being rerated, you are going to get these kinds of moves.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was no slouch either. And believe me, it's been one. Yesterday it rallied on a new heart device as well as some good chatter about a schizophrenia drug in a European health magazine. Again, this is not the stuff of a 2% increase, but you got it yesterday. That made it worth owning after all.
Meanwhile, Merck (MRK) just keeps rallying and Pfizer's (PFE) on the move, again with no real reasons. Sure, for the last 10 points Merck's been breaking up. Pfizer is doing new tricks with old anticholesterol dogs. Still, nothing happened that merited these moves. Believe me.
This is an odd move into the noncyclicals, and it's been going on now for a week as it appears that some people are making gigantic slowdown bets, hence the moves in the nondrugs such as Kellogg (K), General Mills (GIS), Hershey (HSY) and Kimberley-Clark (KMB) that you typically do not get in a single day, especially with the first two, given their subpar quarters. It's almost as if there's this gigantic the-world-is-slowing ETF that a bunch of gunners piled into to get instant exposure to the group and turned the individual stocks into a one-day juggernaut.
But does that make any sense at all when you consider that yesterday's other red-hot group was the airlines? Forget a possible slowdown. This group should have been killed by the weather and by higher jet fuel prices and by the not-so-hot numbers reported by United Continental (UAL). Nope. Momentary pause and then another leap forward! My three favorites, Delta (DAL), American Airlines (AAL) and Spirit (SAVE) all hit 52-week highs yesterday. Do you know how amazing that is? These are airlines that have lost thousands of flights to the weather and just keep delivering.