Alibaba, Bond Yields Soar as Green Mountain, Whole Foods Disappoint

 

NEW YORK (TheStreet)  -- On Thursday the S&P 500 up close to 1% and climbing to session highs but bond yields are the real story -- 10-year Treasury rates have soared 14.9% over the past five days. 

Interest rate volatility is up a whopping 36% in the past 10 days, Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report." However, he is expecting a less-than-stellar labor report on Friday, which will likely cause bonds to rally and yields to fall. 

Joseph Terranova, senior managing director at Virtus Investment Partners, disagreed, saying he expects rates will rise once the non-farm payrolls report for April is released. He said most investors likely believe rates will rise and bonds will fall but are too scared to sell bonds. 

He's concerned as well about the lack of liquidity in the fixed-income market, particularly in the high yield market, such as the iShares High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG). 

Real estate is such a long-term play for most investors and developers that the day-to-day moves in interest rates have no effect on the industry, according to Tom Barrack, CEO of Colony Capital, which has $19 billion in assets under management. 

In this sense, real estate is far more "insulated" from interest rate movements than stocks are, he added.

The recent market sentiment data were the most bearish that it's been since April 2013, said Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management. It's a good thing investors are on edge because otherwise they would be too exuberant and the market would become overvalued, he said. 

Nervous investors don't mean stocks will automatically go lower, according to Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com. He pointed out the overall market is holding up relatively well, just a few percentage points from the all-time highs, despite the rally in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX.X) over the past few sessions. 

Shares of Alibaba (BABA) are up nearly 8% after the company beat on EPS and revenue estimates and announced COO Daniel Zhang would become CEO as of Sunday. Alibaba also got positive analyst commentary on its transition to mobile. 

Instead of buying Alibaba, Jon Najarian bought Yahoo! (YHOO), which owns a stake. Roughly three-quarters of Yahoo!'s market cap is made up of its Alibaba stake, he explained, adding that Yahoo! recently had some bullish call option activity. 

Alibaba's results were much better than Pete Najarian had expected. Mobile is strong and the company's litigation issues seem to be coming to an end, he said. He's long the stock and looking for it to ultimately get back above $100 and possibly make a run at its previous all-time high of $120. 

Barrack says he doesn't like China's lack of transparency or its legal system. He doesn't understand Alibaba enough to be long the stock. Instead, he prefers to be long Amazon (AMZN). 

Whole Foods Market (WFM) is down nearly 10% after issuing disappointing earnings and announcing a new chain of value-priced concept stores. Pete Najarian pointed out revenue still climbed 10% year over year and said the current pullback is a buying opportunity. 

While bouncing off its lows, shares of Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) are still down over 9%. Earlier on the day, TheStreet's Jim Cramer called the company's conference call "one of the worst calls ever" and Jon Najarian agreed, saying the company provided "horrible" guidance following its revenue and earnings miss. "I wouldn't touch it here," he said of the stock.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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