Stirring the mental pot for the weekend:
-- The Federal Reserve members can't stop thumping their chests about how low unemployment is and how our economy is ripe for a takeoff and how well they have done their jobs since the financial crisis of 2008-09. Riddle me this, Janet Yellen: What are Wal-Mart (WMT), Nordstrom (JWN), Macy's (M), heck even Cisco (CSCO) saying about our consumer spending and global technology spending? Are these companies outliers and facing company-specific issues in an otherwise very "healthy" consumer and carrier and telco infrastructure capex spending environment? I say run our Federal Reserve out of town.
-- So, folks are still selling GoPro (GPRO) here around $21 per share and change but couldn't buy the shares any faster when they were trading up in the $80s per share? CEO Nick Woodman certainly pulled a fast one over investors' and Wall Street analysts' eyes when he sold almost 12 million shares at around $80 a share in a secondary offering just four months after GoPro's IPO last year. Woodman seems to be a genuine nice guy but a bit of an odd duck.
-- Apple (AAPL) has pretty much come full circle post-earnings back to where it was before its earnings report pleasantly surprised most investors but did nothing to dispel chatter about its "imminent demise" by the naysayers almost immediately after the quarterly earnings conference call. Shares of Apple closed at around $113 and change the afternoon before the company reported earnings and then steadily climbed to just shy of $124 the day prior to the dividend and then straight-lined back down to $113 and change today. Is Apple a buy-and-hold stock or is it now a trading vehicle just like the overall market and the rest of the stocks? Just asking. (Cisco and Apple are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
-- With Chinese data continuing to come in weaker than expected on pretty much every metric that is worth taking a look at, is the Chinese five-year 7% GDP growth plan even doable? Heck, does it even make sense given the data we have seen? To make matters worse, Vipshop Holdings (VIPS), the giant Chinese online discount retailer, just pre-announced terrible numbers for its third quarter, blaming warmer weather in China as a reason for the shortfall. So, if the Chinese consumer is also starting to stumble (like consumers here at home seem to be), are the Chinese also blowing smoke up our pipes like our very own Federal Reserve is doing? Inquiring minds want to know.
-- Since we started this article with the clowns at the Federal Reserve, why not end on the same note? If, as the Fed heads insist, things are indeed "great" here at home despite what the likes of Wal-Mart, Macy's and Nordstrom have been saying of late, why were retail sales data weaker than expected after being tepid all summer? Retail sales for October released by the Commerce Department showed an anemic rise of 0.1% vs. the 0.3% expected by the swamis and gurus. If that were not bad enough, retail sales for September were lowered to 0% growth from the 1% rise reported previously. What happened to the consumer flush in cash with his/her savings from lower oil prices and spending money left, right and center, like Yellen wants us to believe? He/she is a figment of the Federal Reserve members' imagination.
Certainly a lot of chaff to sift through this weekend in addition to yet another painful Cowboys game to sit through. Although, this weekend they will win. Won't they? :-)
Until the next time, "may the trade always be in your favor."