A Remarkable Revival

 | Jul 25, 2013 | 6:49 PM EDT
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How in heck can this market get reignited a day after it looked like everything was goners-ville? Just 24 hours ago, we had a hideous bond market, a bunch of stocks that looked like they were teetering, including many of the big industrials, and a homebuilding sector that seemed on the verge of rolling over.

Sure enough, the last thing did occur, and the industrials were a drag, but wouldn't you know it, the biotechs and Facebook (FB) take off.

Now, of course, if the bond market weren't well-behaved, we could have had our heads handed to us after those numbers from PulteGroup (PHM) and D.R. Horton (DRI). But bonds clung to yesterday's level, we shrugged off a couple of really bad earnings numbers from Europe -- like Siemens (SI) and Unilever (UL) -- and we went right back to moving on up. Even a late-day swoon couldn't contain this bull, and after the bell, the numbers from growth icons Gilead (GILD) and Starbucks (SBUX) will probably trump those from Expedia (EXPE), and a tame bond market will have us rallying again.

This market is a true nightmare for the bears. You have companies like Oneok (OKE), the totally sleepy utility that moves up 25% on something as simple as a split-up of a piece of the business. You have a high-multiple stock like Under Armour (UA), which seemed to be ripe for a beat-down, given how the pricey VF Corp (VFC) failed to top numbers. Instead, Under Armour blows the doors out, and VF Corp starts going back up!

You had Starwood Hotels (HOT) say things are challenged, it didn't do the revenue people might have wanted, but through terrific execution it gave you a fabulous profit line. This stock, a year ago, would have gone down $2. Instead, it rallies almost $3.

And then, wonder or wonders, after the bell, Energy Transfer Equity (ETP), which had been the doggiest of the master limited partnerships for a couple of years, actually boosts its distribution, this from a group that looked like it was on its last legs not that long ago. Now watch Linn Energy (LINE) do something positive.

All of this is to say that this rally, which seemed so long in the tooth at 9:35 a.m., just finds new players to get behind. It doesn't even blink at the biggest indictment in years, the SAC Capital suit, which at another time would have caused a ripple in the whole financial world, either because of fears that SAC would dump stocks or that the brokerages that get so much business for it might not have as good a quarter, given how much the firm doles out in commissions. Instead, other than prurient interest, the market didn't care at all.

The whole thing, right down to an Amazon (AMZN) miss that no one even seems to care about, is downright amazing. Just a series of remarkable bull market events.

Note: This piece originally stated that Energy Transfer Partners raised its dividend. It has been corrected to reflect that sister partnership Energy Transfer Equity did so. We apologize for the error.

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