What do you do with a pullback -- a long-awaited pullback, one based on Europe and changes and worries about a resurgence of problems on the continent?
If you are like most people, you decide to wait until a bigger pullback, because that's what all the bears and skittish folks have been preaching to themselves by day. And night.
Yes, here you are, with all of these domestic stocks coming on strong, with housing and retail coming in dramatically better than expected. Yet what do people do? They find excuses to stay away from precisely the stocks that have broken away from the international orb. Now, it's as if everyone believes all that could go wrong will go wrong, and we're now seeing the long-awaited rollback of all the trades that have been put on.
It's typical that the analysts have continued with their endless downgrades. Goldman Sachs downgrades Hershey (HSY) because of recent price strength. UBS wants nothing to do with Charles Schwab (SCHW), even as we have seen only one month of retail-investor comeback. J.P. Morgan downgrades Wal-Mart (WMT), a quintessential positive name for this period. Morgan Stanley goes to a needless selloff of worries about new drugs. BMO has had enough with Google (GOOG).
I don't know how it is that the pullback, when it comes, never refreshes the people for whom the move should be refreshing.
As I wait for my trip back, I am dealing with the people around me who all -- uniformly all -- are saying, "the market is tanking" and "sell sell sell."
You never hear "buy" on days like today.
I'm not saying that today is the day to go all in. I am saying that, if you have some cash, you should end up with less cash today than you had last Monday.
Random musings: I hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl and the "Open House" this weekend. I know the diversity of views might confuse people, but this has been the hallmark of Real Money since I started it more than 12 years ago.
More random musings: When Carl Icahn launched his aborted bid for Clorox (CLX), I suggested that he let management be because Donald Knauss is such a winner, not unlike the terrific team at ConAgra (CAG). Look where this stock is -- $80 -- on that terrific quarter. It just keeps motoring along, too.