This market has been showing its cards on a daily basis these days: Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Simon Property Group (SPG), Hershey (HSY), General Mills (GIS), Verizon (VZ), H.J. Heinz (HNZ), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP).
What do they have in common? Yield you don't have to reach for. Yield that you can't get in the 10-year. Yield from balance sheets that are better than the U.S. Treasury.
We have such a have-and-have-not market here on so many days. The oils are up $2 on a $1 increase in oil, and down $4 on a $2 decline. If any company mentions uncertainty in Europe, it is sell, sell, sell. If you make capital goods equipment and you don't blow the numbers away, or have any lumpiness, you are slaughtered.
And then there's Eli Lilly (ELY). Good yield. Good balance sheet. Potential anti-Alzheimer's drug. Something that is the essence of stability, a bond with growth.
I have watched these moves and am in disbelief at how parabolic they have become. But when there is no government paper you trust and there are whiffs of European downgrades everywhere, these stocks represent a real port in a storm.
I don't like to chase.
I do like to recognize what the market wants and wants relentlessly: safety and security. These stocks have it.