The daunting thing is the breakdowns, the endless breakdowns. And yet the stocks are still no man's land. Take PPG (PPG). It's off horribly today, down a $1.53. More important, it has been in a severe downtrend ever since peaking 20 points ago.
But it yields only 1.5% and still sells at 18x earnings. That's what I mean about a situation that's so difficult. You can't just come in here and buy shares in this fantastic stock with the market breaking down. It doesn't have yield support or P/E support to speak of.
Well, wait, you say, you talked about it positively when it was higher.
That's true. I did. But the circumstances are so changed. First, PPG gets 50% of its income from overseas, including a big chunk from Mexico, which is in free fall, and some exposure from China which is, well, who knows where.
Second, one of my absolute favorite CEOs, Chuck Bunch, is retiring and that's a major change-up for me. He has guided the company so wisely.
Third, while the company has a terrific buyback, it can't just stand there every day and support the stock in this kind of machine-driven environment.
Finally, the rest of the group has traded so badly that it is taking down all the stocks in its sector because we know that sector pull has never been greater.
So, yet, it probably makes some sense to start here if you wanted to buy a position in it. But not enough sense to brave the potential for estimate cuts and a Fed that doesn't see anything but strength in the economy.
Plus, Dow Chemical (DOW), which is an Action Alerts PLUS stock, is acting horrendously but is far cheaper at 13x earnings with an almost 4% yield and a critical fourth-quarter restructuring occurring that will include a buyback.
So, a terrific company and a terrific stock just isn't good enough just yet to pull the trigger.