How do you look at things? What's your time horizon? As we start August, historically the toughest month, you are getting a sense that the long-term outlook, not the short- or medium-term, has taken center focus.
Let's start with Tesla (TSLA) -Solar City (SCTY) . Elon Musk, the man behind both companies, is trying to combine them in order to create a one-stop shop for powering these incredibly popular vehicles.
Put aside the arrogant nature of Musk, which basically can be summed up as, "I am smarter than you so I can't bother with you," and accept a couple of things. First, Musk is not playing for this year or next or the year after that. If you buy Solar City, you are a believer in the notion that the electric grid will change fundamentally in the next decade. There are 50 million rooftops in this country. To Musk, that's 50 million power plants. The notion that the electric utility fleet will still be based on nuclear, coal and natural gas when nuclear plants can't be built, they are too expensive, coal's too dirty and natural gas is just admitted bridge fuel is simply grist for the mill of Musk's mind.
He's thinking that there might be one central place where there's a gigantic solar field miles wide, perhaps in a corner of Colorado, that produces all the excess power you need. He's thinking in the not-too-distant future we will have solved the problem of electricity not being able to be sent long distances and he will be ready to tap into that with his merged company. You have to think big to understand his plan. Or maybe, just maybe, we can't understand it because he is such a visionary, something I hesitate to say because I haven't seen a lot of visionaries, although Jay Leno, a real car guy, reminded us on Squawk on the Street not that long ago, when he rang the bell to celebrate the second season of Jay's Garage, that no other car company other than those that have been around forever has been able to sell 140,000 cars, so maybe he should be cut a break.
Anyway, if you were lucky enough to get in on the 9.30-million-share Tesla secondary at $215, you're doing pretty well: you are up 10 bucks. Visionary creates capital gains!
Next up, Uber. Over the weekend, Uber pretty much exited China, a hotly contested market, where it was losing billions of dollars, selling its company to rival Didi for a 20% stake in the new company. That's fabulous news if you own shares in the private Uber because it would pave the way for an IPO. CEO Travis Kalanik seems to get the imperative of eventually earning a profit, and this decision to bail on China shows he's serious about making Uber a company that cares about what its stock might eventually be priced at.
Then there's biotech. We all know biotech's been in a horrendous bear market for ages. But last week, Celgene (CELG) reported a better-than-expected quarter and the stock took off, gaining about 10 points.
What's amazing about this move, though, is that as a follower of Celgene, I would tell you that this better-than-expected quarter is pretty much the same better-than-expected quarter Celgene always delivers, except this time people took notice.
They also took notice of a partnership between Biogen (BIIB) and Ionis (IONS) , a company frequently featured on Mad Money, where Biogen's taking a stake in the future of an important drug that Ionis is developing for spinal muscular atrophy. Why is this so important? Ionis has been losing value for months because of a belief that this isn't a big drug. But the investment by Biogen puts the lie to that notion. Both stocks are screaming.
I think this move portends well for the entire group. Amgen (AMGN) reported an excellent quarter last week and now it's getting credit for it. Gilead (GILD) , which disappointed when it talked about its hepatitis franchise peaking, seems to have found its footing. Later this week, Regeneron (REGN) , which is down 19%, will report and I think we will like what the company says about its core macular-degeneration drug as well as new drugs in the pipe.
At the same time, last week the market rallied around Biomarin (BMRN) on news that its hemophilia drug is having good results. Now here's what you need to know about this flying-high Biomarin stock. CEO JJ Bienaime told Mad Money viewers basically the same thing a couple of months ago and it laid an egg. Now people care. That has to do with mindset and the willingness of investors to think longer term.
Verizon (VZ) today shelled out $2.4 billion to buy a company called Fleetmatics (FLTX) , which uses software as a service to manage fleets of trucks. This deal's on top of last week's purchase of Yahoo's (YHOO) internet business. This is an example of another company thinking about the distant future where it's not just a cellphone business. By the way, remember that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said on Mad Money that we will be surprised about how good the iPhone 7 iteration will be. There's a path for faster growth; Verizon is on it.
Finally, there's the market's belief in the true longer-term stocks, companies like Facebook (FB) , Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOGL) . All three of these companies reported better-than-expected numbers but they seemed to fall flat last week. They laid eggs as if it didn't matter. (Amazon is part of TheStreet's Growth Seeker portfolio.)
I know many of us were surprised that these stocks couldn't move even higher than they did, but upon further review that's exactly what is happening. Remember, Facebook is cheap at this growth rate if you look out two years. That's something that was being sniffed at. It isn't now. Amazon's showing it can grow worldwide even as the cost will be great. It's getting a pass on that spending. Alphabet is getting credit for disciplined spending, which shows there's a willingness to believe if expenses are under control the stock's worth owning.
It's been a terrible time to be in the concept stocks and the stocks that require a leap of faith to pan out. It's been a good time to own the real estate investment trusts, utilities and consumer packaged-goods stocks. Even as those will continue to shine if interest rates stay low, I believe the more important pattern is the lengthening timeframe of investors, something that began just last week.
Oh, and if there is one other sign that people believe the future might be better than the past, it is the move in Apple's (AAPL) stock. When it reported better-than-expected numbers last week, it caught a short squeeze. Now it seems as if people are thinking that the 7, as mentioned earlier, may be better than expected and the service revenue stream might be stronger than people think. (Facebook, Alphabet and Apple are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
All of this bullishness might be regarded as froth by some. I think it's more a matter of the end of the vicious skepticism that's gripped the longer-term growth stocks.
If it's really over, then we may have found the group that can rally in this notoriously difficult month for stocks.