NEW YORK (Real Money) -- As expected, I heard from some of my ardently political friends about Wednesday's column. It seems heresy to suggest that Tuesday's elections were anything but a tidal wave that will change the country and be fantastic for the stock market.
I am sorry, but nothing is going to change anytime soon, and it's a nonevent for the stock market. If anything, the president could be become more aggressive with executive orders now that the "Please keep your pen in your pocket" request from his party has expired. There are not going to be any proenergy, low-tax or any other grand pieces of legislation anytime soon. It is business as usual in Washington, and in the stock market.
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The best course of action is to keep looking for stocks to buy at what may be bargain prices. My focus has not shifted since Tuesday, and neither should yours. I am running screens and kicking over rocks in the dark corners of the market. Today, I ran one of my favorite screens, and there are some interesting names worth exploring. Namely, when the CEO of a company is buying shares in the open market at cheap prices, this is a wildly bullish event most of the time, as my work has shown. CEOs know more about conditions and prospects for the company than anyone else does, so it's a big vote of confidence when they are buying the stock.
The first name on my list made me wish I were more confident of big changes in Washington. Peabody Energy (BTU) has been hurt by the current administration's war on coal, and the stock has dropped more than 40% this year. Peabody is one of the world's largest coal producers, and is much better positioned than other U.S. coal companies to benefit from export markets. We may posture about coal in the U.S., but the rest of the world is going to burn the stuff, and that's especially so in the emerging-markets countries. Eventually, this should provide a boost for Peabody. CEO Gregory Boyce and two other directors must believe the future looks better than today does, as they have been buying shares in the open market. At 80% of book value, Peabody stock appears cheap enough for consideration by long-term, value-oriented buyers.