The Daily Dose: No Reason to Panic Yet

 | Dec 04, 2013 | 9:30 AM EST
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Strange to see the market falling alongside a continued of positive reads from various global data pools, huh? It shouldn't be a shocker given this from Monday But, in case you did miss that here are three things to get the mind straight:

  1. The Russell 2000 has underperformed the Dow and Nasdaw since November 4 by a full percentage or so.
  2. Stocks are reacting negatively to favorable data, and the probability of a non-farm employment report that satisfies Fed qualifications for less liquidity. You can also see this in the reduced upward velocity in 2013's leading stocks, for example Starbucks (SBUX). Here comes the early pricing in of the 2014 taper, baby!
  3. Mobile spending this holiday season has been robust, physical stores the opposite. That divergence says the economy is in such a position that the consumer is unable, or unwilling, to double spend. Double spending usually involves a credit card. An economy not double spending is one that surprises investors negatively in 2014 as more focus is paid to the actions of business and people and less on artificial stimulus.

No reason to panic yet but be mindful of the new messages the market is sending.

J.C. Penney LOL

"Have I lost my usual amazing touch on analyzing retailers", I wondered while watching the J.C. Penney (JCP) sales numbers hit the wires on Tuesday evening. Wow, +10.1% comp. That was likely so far above Macy's (M) it's not even funny. The shares popped instantly. A couple bottom lines.

  1. J.C. Penney shares are trading off its directional sales numbers; this is a company still poised to show a fourth quarter 2013 loss despite positive sales.
  2. J.C. Penney is cycling its easiest comp compare of 2013 in the fourth quarter.
  3. J.C. Penney's "stellar" comp is a byproduct of more clearance items and 50% off signage. In that regard, and considering the comparisons, J.C. Penney's November comp should have been higher.

As I said recently, if you are a trader, by all means do the dance on J.C. Penney. However, I simply want to see more for my clients before anointing J.C. Penney the "Comeback Kid Award of 2014." The sane department store play remains Macy's, or a top vendor selling into both companies, such as Nike (NKE).

Tech Observation

I was sitting in a greenroom Tuesday (for this personal finance segment: ) chatting with the head of mobile for LG, who was there to provide color on one of three, new curved glass "G-Flex" phones from his company in all of North America. What I was trying to ascertain, unbeknown to him, was if the device was an iPhone killer or just a gimmick-offer in the same manner as most of the new smart watches. Apple (AAPL), I think LG is onto something here.

  1. Scratches heal themselves (yes, for real) and you could literally bend down on the phone (I placed it on a table and pressed down with decent force, without the division head even breaking a sweat). It's a bionic phone, and great for the clumsy!
  2. There is a silent wow factor to the larger screen size; it doesn't feel burdensome in your hand.
  3. The curved glass creates a bright looking screen (think throwback TV in terms of curve).
  4. There was a feel that this was a true computer in your hand, it had presence, not a device housing apps and facetime abilities.

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