Market's Surprising to the Upside

 | Aug 21, 2012 | 7:25 AM EDT  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

urbn

,

ndsn

Just when you think that there should be land mines, or questionable days you had marked on your calendar, you are getting pleasantly surprised.

Right now I had marked that we should be ready for a Greek default. It is hard to imagine, but during the discussions about the last Greek bailout the supposition was that Greece would fail to pay this week, which would cause Italian and Spanish bond yields to spike.

Where did that forecast get you? Yet, it is entirely possible that people kept out of the market or hid in Treasuries waiting for this day to pass.

Or Urban Outfitters (URBN). I figured blah. No more than blah. Turnaround. Worried still about why Glenn Senk left or was pushed. Just seemed like a weak retail story after years of expecting good things. What can I say? We got GREAT things with everything from direct to consumer to Free People doing well. Free People? Up 12%. The turn is not only complete, but URBN is becoming a leader once again, a three-headed leader that had previously lost its way.

One that I thought would have nothing but negative was Nordson (NDSN). Here's an American company with worldwide tech and industrial coatings businesses, just one of those companies that was supposed to miss, at least on sales and probably on earnings. It not only didn't miss, it reported superb earnings AND sales in both units, with Europe even coming in strong.

Now, naysayers could say look at that shortfall at Tech Data (TECD) and think about that tech supermarket having all sorts of problems. But the commentary was quite positive, including decent growth in Europe and while the company had no problems saying there was plenty of weakness, it did also say that currency and gross margin pressure -- not sales -- caused the shortfall.

Overall, you are simply getting surprised to the upside when you expect the downside and that's not what's supposed to be happening right now.

Don't worry, we will soon hear the litany: low vix, low volume and add in the horrible month of September -- isn't it always? -- and you will have enough to keep you out again.

Last night when I said good things about the market I went on Twitter -- big mistake -- and saw many "now he goes positive" and "Cramer's bullish, time to short."

Boy people can be morons. To bet against me has been to lose except for in 1998, at least in terms of relative performance in the market. I started managing money in 1979. Last I looked, that's a long streak.

But it reminds me, again, that people want out in the worst way and unless you are Peter Thiel dumping hundreds of millions of dollars in Facebook (FB) stock, you didn't get a great case to sell, at least coming into this morning.

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