The big themes for the second half are staring us in the face right now. I am talking about concepts to fall back on when this market sells off, and, like all markets, it will.
First, there's Pokemon Go.
OK, just kidding, in fact that's exactly the opposite of what I am talking about. I have no doubt that the Pokemon Go craze will continue to drive Nintendo higher and people might even want to buy Verizon (VZ) and Dividend Stock Advisor holding AT&T (T) off it. But that does bring me to my real first theme:
Bond yield equivalent stocks. When our 10-year Treasury went below 1.5% and when many industrialized countries have negative rates -- first time in about 500 years for Dutch debt! -- you can buy a lot of stocks that had 2.5% yields that weren't all that interesting to people before this. It's a real theme. It counts. It's working and it includes real estate investment trusts, master limited partnerships, utilities and consumer packaged-goods stocks at pretty much every dip.
Second, takeovers: They should have been killed but they haven't, and that's what's so exciting about a WhiteWave (WWAV) or a Hershey (HSY) , both targets although only one has worked. If I were General Mills (GIS) , I would be tempted to compete with Danone if only to get the French company to pay more for the darned thing, as they are vicious competitors. This morning Imperva (IMPV) puts itself up for sale. Come on IBM (IBM) , make the deal. Do people see what's happening in biotech? Medivation (MDVN) is for sale, and there are multiple bidders. Who wants to be short in that environment?
Third: The Internet of Things is real and it's big and it doesn't have to do with just homes or cars. It's much bigger than that. Its industrial applications are gigantic, hence the deal between GE (GE) and Microsoft (MSFT) on Predix, which is a terrific technology designed to detect machines that you can't have break down without putting yourself potentially out of business. It's why I continue to like the Broadcoms (AVGO) and the NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) of the world even up here. Technology is broader than you think and includes a lot more sectors than just the personal computer. (WhiteWave, GE and NXP Semiconductor are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
Fourth: Retail can be bigger than just Amazon (AMZN) . The frugal stocks -- TJX (TJX) , Dollar Tree (DLTR) , Dollar General (DG) , Walmart (WMT) -- all make sense. But there's also the possibility that with credit expanding, the home thesis -- people spending on their home, hence the unstoppable Home Depot (HD) -- can be joined by a return in apparel with Under Armour (UA) and Lululemon (LULU) leading the way. Don't give up on retail and restaurants just when they are about to break out because the consumer is starting to spend again. (Amazon and Under Armour are part of TheStreet's Growth Seeker portfolio.)
Fifth: Oil and the dollar will recede as the be-all and end-all of 2016. No, I am not saying that when oil rallies it won't help the bulls, it will. I am not saying the dollar can't go higher; if we take rates up, it will. I just don't think we will be bound by these two. Why? I don't think oil's as perilous anymore. It's range-bound and a range-bound commodity loses influence. Similarly, if the world's economies come back, the dollar will not be as important as earnings growth. We will know soon enough if the earnings are good enough and I will still refer to the dollar and oil regularly. I just think the linkage will become less pronounced and the value of earnings will come to the fore. And, if you ask me, it's about time.