NEW YORK (Real Money) -- For years, "this market," as it is always referred to, has been about instant returns.
Investors, for reasons we can debate, have become conditioned to that. The downside for anybody who has a public view of more than a few minutes, or weeks, is public mockery or flat-out attempts discrediting the critics. More often than not, for a wide swath of investors, it's about what's happening now and how I can make money now. That is human nature, after all, only magnified many times over by day trading, high-frequency trading and all other kinds of trading, and the instant gratification associated with media, social and otherwise, as well as the general nature of this wired world. And between here and there, even after the warning signs are flashing yellow or red, it's pure gamesmanship.
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Trouble is, when there is a there (which more often than not in recent years is when the company itself has little choice but concede reality) those lulled into complacency by the easy money were the last to see it coming. The reason for this long wind-up is yesterday Bank of America Merrill Lynch sliced Rio Tinto (RIO) , the iron ore miner, to underperform from buy. This follows its removal from the conviction and focus lists at Goldman Sachs and Citi, respectively.
But nowhere to be seen in my newsfeeds was last week's reiteration of a sell recommendation on Rio Tinto by Gordon Johnson of Axiom Capital, which rarely makes the headlines. Johnson also lowered his price target to $28 from 33; the stock is currently in the mid-$40s after spending one-and-a-half weeks on the model "which anyone who has modeled RIO knows would take nearly 10 pages to document" that he wrote.
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