These Moves Are Insane

 | Mar 20, 2014 | 6:42 PM EDT  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

jpm

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msft

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t

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cmg

Some of these moves are just insane. Microsoft (MSFT) trades as it if is about to break up. AT&T's (T) roaring as if it is about to split the company up? JPMorgan's (JPM) above $60 even though when rates were at these levels before this it was way lower. These moves make no sense to me.

Microsoft's a complex company, one that emphasizes Windows and Windows branding, even as if this is a company that has won the living room with Xbox. If Apple owned Xbox, I am confident that stock would be more than $600. Some are saying that Microsoft is about to bring out value by splitting up. I say that's simply not on the table. Others are saying that it is because Microsoft is going to make software for iPads. Sure, but this move's bigger than that.

I think the only thing that makes sense to explain this one is that there's a repudiation of the past going on and the big mutual and hedge funds love it. That plus the re-rating of the tech complex I wrote about earlier.

There isn't much I can say AT&T's doing to make it stock more attractive other than a big dividend boost. Perhaps there's a giant additive acquisition? I don't see it happening either. Maybe the darned thing is just so behind the market that a couple of big firms have just decided to make a stand.

JPMorgan is a good-house-good-neighborhood story, but the ultra-enthusiasm here is difficult to fathom.

My only real conclusion here on all three is that there is just not a lot of volume out there and all three seem to have buyers that are just voracious with sellers that seem almost non-existent.

Doug Kass has been talking about reduced volumes. The moves on these three stocks are all exhibits of this lack of volume in action.

It's not just these three Dow stocks. The exaggerated moves in Chipotle (CMG) and Panera (PNRA), for example, are all about a death of supply. But those are normally difficult to buy stocks. It's just a day where it seems that many big-cap stocks are trading like small caps as if it is the first day of the summer.

Oddly, it is just the first day of spring.

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