One Nasty, Ugly Up Day

 | Feb 11, 2014 | 6:56 AM EST  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

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ba

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bwp

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Yesterday should have been Friday. Friday shouldn't have occurred.

Isn't that how Monday's session seemed to play out? Everything opens up in a nice continuation of the "something for everybody" rally that we had Friday. Yelp (YELP) soars on Yahoo! (YHOO). Boeing (BA) rallies on plane orders. The oils catch a bid, with folks betting on higher prices now that crude is north of $100 per barrel. Retailers muddle higher. Only General Motors (GM) and Boardwalk Pipeline (BWP) stand out as negatives -- and, even then, only the latter had any real "news" attached to it.

But, by the end of the day, the only big stocks left standing were the ones that do best in recession. That's something the Friday jobs number might have been trying to signal, but no one was listening.

Yesterday was a day that any bull has to fear. Yesterday has to have been the aberration, because if this market is going to be led by none other than Bristol-Myers (BMY), then you are going to have to start buying expensive stocks with decent dividends again. You'd have to bet that yield the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond is going to 2.4% and we have seen the top in both the consumer-spend and housing cycles.

If yesterday's action plays out, then the banks are sells because of a net-interest-margin compression and a lack of home and auto growth. You are going to have to short all but the highest-end growth techs, and even then you could stumble into a name like Google (GOOG), meaning a stock that has previously been a darling when profit-takers have suddenly surfaced. People stuck with Priceline (PCLN) Monday -- don't ask me why, it made no real sense to me.

Now, I think that both Friday and Monday were aberrant. I would love to think that yesterday's rally in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Procter & Gamble (PG) -- two Action Alerts PLUS names whose shares have mercilessly been taken to the woodshed since the companies reported earnings, not unlike Bristol Myers -- can continue. But it seems as if they could only do so at the expense of everything else that involves construction: autos, homes, apartments, office buildings, airplanes, or consumer spending and the banks that can power it.

It's funny: All of this was done in what amounted to an up day -- a frightening up day in its narrowness and its lack of opportunity.

So now we hang on to every word of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, but I think we need to hang on to every word of retail inventories, as they are too high at the store level. Witness Annie's (BNNY) this morning, which could pull down even the redoubtable. See Whole Foods (WFM), of late at least. Meanwhile, on the car lots, the action in GM tells you that the moron flipping hedge fund managers aren't done getting out. Those are their footprints you see. They're similar to the ones that kept throwing up AIG (AIG) shares when there wasn't immediate gratification.

Yep, it was one nasty, ugly up day.

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