Today's the day where the decline in oil seems to have electrified the retailers like Costco (COST) and Target (TGT) along with the restaurants while decimating the independent oils and derivatives again.
At this point, the stocks have divorced themselves from the actual oil fundamentals. When oil goes up, they do nothing, and when oil goes down, they get crushed. That's a sign of really bad holders, of course, not as bad as the panicked master limited partnerships -- which are perhaps in the greatest bear market next to coal -- but still relentless.
Here's what's disturbing to many of us. There are simply no value buyers in this group. There are no people stepping up and saying, "I know Occidental (OXY) has the cash flow to pay that dividend" -- which it does. There's no one who says, "You know what? This master limited partnership had plenty of coverage, I am going to buy it." (Target and Occidental are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
You know why that is? Because these are all victims of total ETF-ization. There are no MLPs that matter more than the worst ones that bring them down. Same with the oils.
In fact, I would argue that when the smoke clears there are going to be some amazing values in this group, but nobody will care even then unless there are takeovers. The ETF sales are endless.
Meanwhile, did someone wake up to the fact that retail's doing well? Did someone see that Costco actually never missed its quarter? What the heck is that all about?
Today the buyers woke up to the fact that oil's gone down, as did the sellers. What the heck took them so long? In the latter case, I think they are too late already.