There was a point in my life when I was really down and out. No, this was before I was robbed of everything I owned and lived in my car in L.A. It was in Tallahassee, and my parents came down to see me. I told them it was really hard to live on $145 a week and I needed help.
I asked them to send me money because I was struggling to pay my car bill, my $200 a month rent and my insurance, and 74 cents a gallon for gasoline. I just couldn't cover everything and I was resorting to eating chicken livers and hearts -- you know the ones in those little plastic cases -- or whatever I could catch in the Gulf, of Fort Walton Beach, where the pompano were. And it wasn't right, I deserved their help.
We had the discussion at a place called Jerry's, a really bad place that I thought was the best place in town because I didn't have enough money to pick a good place. After we got in my parent's car, we drove south and a Greyhound bus was going north. Many of you may not know or remember, but Greyhound always put the destination in the sign at the front of the bus. My mother pointed to the bus and said look where it's going. It said "America." Then she said, when you come back to America and get a real job with real wages this won't be a problem.
I was furious.
But not long after -- and mind you this was before ATM machines -- I went to fill up my Fairmont at an Amoco and I whipped out my Amoco card and it was denied. My father had cut me off. I had to get my late friend Robert Meachum to drive up to give me enough money to pay.
But that's how it was. There simply wasn't enough money.
And that's the problem this market has. On any given day, there isn't enough money for everything to go up.
Instead, it goes up sporadically and often, it seems, for no reason. Take the stock of Verizon Communications (VZ) . On November 14, it was at $44. Today it is at $53. Do you know what happened to Verizon during that period? I will tell you. Nothing, Nada, not a thing. It's a high yielder, but you know what happened to the bonds that compete with it? Nothing.
Same thing goes for the stocks of utilities like American Electric Power Co (AEP) or Con Edison. Up for no reason other than perhaps people perceive that there will be a lot of demand for electric cars, as I postulated earlier. Or how about the stock of Clorox (CL) . It won't quit.
But there's nothing behind that move either. It's just rotation plain and simple.
And it is happening at the same time that I think people are selling higher lots of stocks they own because they know that there is a chance next year that they will have to sell their first lot, which has a very low basis most likely. Can you imagine having to sell your $20 Nvidia (NVDA) when you want to sell you $120 lot? That's terrible.
So we get selling in the big winners and there is random buying of some stocks that don't have a lot of gains, but give you a decent dividend. It's everywhere. Retailers and apparel in particular, like Macy's (M) and Nike (NKE) . Who has a gain in those?
I think this market's like me in Tallahassee. Send me more money, Mom, or I will have to cut back on something. That's what's really going on. And the parents just aren't complying.
Look, I could foment something. I could say that there are real substantive reasons why so many stocks are rallying while others aren't, but the market's short of money plain and simple. And there's no one out there to help. The only difference? We are in America. But that's not enough for this market.