No days off.
You're Kidding, Right?
News hit Thursday night, just as I was about to have a dinner consisting of coffee and gum, that Walmart (WMT - Get Report) is in early stage talks to buy health insurer Humana (HUM - Get Report) . Where this news surprises me is that it appears to be a shift in acquisition strategy for Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. He told TheStreet last November Walmart was focused on acquisitions that make the lives of busy moms easier. Perhaps spending big on Humana does that in some capacity, but it seems more pegged toward serving the future needs of Walmart's core aging customer base. There is no way this deal gets instantly green-lighted by the government given Walmart's importance to our everyday lives. Shocker that news like this broke before Walmart founder Sam Walton's 100th birthday today. Meanwhile, it was only last week that Target (TGT - Get Report) was rumored to have interest in buying supermarket king Kroger (KR - Get Report) . Fun times in retail as heavyweights try to position for the next 10 years. The wrap: You get the sense both giant retailers are freaking out by moves being made by others, notably Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) . Action Alerts Plus holding Amazon is doing something (nobody knows what but them) on the healthcare front with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A - Get Report) and JPMorgan & Chase (JPM - Get Report) . It's also aggressively moving into the grocery space beyond the Whole Foods acquisition. CVS Health (CVS - Get Report) is on the cusp of closing its deal for health insurer Aetna (AET) . And Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA - Get Report) will eventually buy the stake in drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen (ABC - Get Report) it doesn't already own. Essentially, key components of our lives could be controlled by 3-5 companies. Good for the controllers, maybe bad for the controlled.
(1) Stifel Financial's (SF - Get Report) long-time CEO Ron Kruszewski tells TheStreet there is a big shift occurring in the market, one that will place emphasis on stock-picking. Rising interest rates are one among several reasons for the shift. "Bull markets don't die of old age, they are murdered by the Fed," reminds Kruszewski. Watch the full interview below. (2) Tesla's (TSLA - Get Report) likely terrible sales report is coming next week. TheStreet's Kinsey Grant drops this in-depth look at what the report might say. Tesla's stock has fallen about 21% over the last month, in case you were wondering. (3) Bitcoin is under big-time pressure, falling beneath the $7,000 level on Friday morning. The crypto has shed an astounding 50% this year. That could be unfortunate for a few silly college kids. According to a new poll from online polling platform Pollfish, 200 out of 1,000 students said they have used a portion of their student loan money to invest in cryptocurrencies. If you are one of these kids, shoot me a tweet @BrianSozzi.
Weekend Deep Thought
One of the best trades in March was to buy small-cap stocks because they are allegedly insulated from a Trump triggered global trade war. The small-cap Russell 2000 has fallen 1% over the past month compared to approximate 3.5% drops on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite. But the thesis behind the trade borders on dumb. Reminds Jefferies strategist Steven DeSanctis, "If the large-cap multinationals are hurt by trade wars and revenue slows, small-cap companies that are the suppliers to large tend to get trashed."
Apparently, markets in April (maybe not this April...).
April has been good to investors.
For now. pic.twitter.com/4h2Ng1vKmU— Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) March 29, 2018