Somewhat shocking to have a deathly boring session considering all of the Dow 20,000 hoopla last night as well as being in the heart of earnings season.
But that's how things set up.
I sat back today and pondered whether any new money would really come in off Dow 20,000 and I am convinced the vast majority of people wrote off this asset class so long ago that they would regard Dow 20,000 as just one more stupid landmark on the way to perdition.
They think of it as a prelude to a flash crash, or the opening act of a swoon back to 17,000. Or they believe that some comet from Europe or meteor from Asia's about to hit stocks and they will be pushed back hard from these levels.
Or they think Trump's a lot of hot air and when he starts to really govern we will start to really go down.
Stocks, individual stocks, really don't have many champions. You are reading one right now, but I don't even know why I bother sometimes other than there are stocks like Facebook (FB) and Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) that seem so obvious or stocks like Dow (DOW) and DuPont (DD) and Illinois Tool Works (ITW) that seem so right and what's the harm in pointing them out. (Facebook and Dow are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio. Amazon is part of the Growth Seeker portfolio.)
I remember when Dick Grasso ran the New York Stock Exchange and he and I would give talks about the power of compounding when you owned a good dividend stock or investing in a great American company as a source of pride of buying stocks and giving them to your kids to learn about money.
Since then, we've had so many crashes and government closings and rancor in Washington and bank failures and international crises that you feel like some sort of martyr being out there saying, "You know what, the stock of Facebook is a good one." If you have liked it since the low $20s like we have and still like it and it goes down 10 points where you still like it, everyone who bought it going down those 10 points hates you.
No one hates you if you say, "Go buy an index fund."
It's almost as if there was a moment where stocks became indefensible. We know that President George W. Bush, for example, truly didn't know much about the stock market or care for it from the times I met him.
I always thought Obama hated the stock market.
Trump? It's not clear. But he has surrounded himself with people who have made lots of money owning stock.
Maybe it will change.
But one thing is certain right now, this broken asset class does not have someone jumping up and down saying, "You can make big money in this market..." except for a handful of us and our ranks seem to diminish by the day.