It's a Confounding Market

 | Nov 29, 2011 | 3:41 PM EST
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Some things are so jarring that they put real fear into you. Last month, I had Jim Flaws on, the CFO of Corning (GLW) and he was the very upbeat about his company's prospects. Today, GLW it's one of the biggest percentage losers. Why? Its forecast was way too high. Customers are cancelling, and Gorilla Glass, that terrific new product, is in free fall.

Or Tiffany (TIF): I didn't see this guide down coming at all. And if you read the conference call, you don't even get it. I can't believe that management's forecast will be accurate. But I don't know their business as well they do. And that was just nasty. I mean, more than $6?

At the same time that consumer confidence is soaring, we get this guide down? You have to admit that it is more than confusing. Meanwhile, the dollar stores don't quit. So the consumer is spending, but it's the poorer type of consumer? Isn't that what Dollar Tree (DLTR) is saying?

Or Philip Morris (PM): Look, this is one of my favorites. You would think though that the Europeans would want to raise taxes even more than they have already to help pay for budget deficits. The stock isn't stopping.

All of this, as I said in an earlier piece, just makes you feel like you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you held onto Tiffany into the quarter, you got mashed.

It's a whipsaw, confusing market, whether it is up or down. Sometimes the up days are more exasperating than the down days. This is one of them.

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