At first blush might be the most important cliché defining this market today. The first blush is often so wrong that you must do everything you can not to be drawn into the maw of lunacy or prosaic thinking.
Why is that? Why can't we just look at earnings as face value and decide that something's great or bad? Look, I get that there's topical events that provide an important prism: will there be an infrastructure bill, is the Fed going to have to break discipline or shed myopia depending upon your vision, and tighten before we thought? Are shortages of everything curable -- I mean do I really have to pay almost double for a big bag of fingerling potatoes at Bar San Miguel?
But how about the story beneath the numbers? That's what I am focused on. I am so sick of "at first blush" determining how a company did. Let's take Snowflake (SNOW) . If you bothered to listen to Frank Slootman Wednesday night on Mad Money you wouldn't have sold this stock down 10 on "a disappointing quarter," you would have bought it up six on a brilliant quarter. At first blush Beyond Meat (BYND) appears to be setting itself up for a big quarter with deals with McDonald's (MCD) and China KFC (YUMC) , so it runs, until you find out it's just the WallStreetBets gang trying to break the shorts who have currently shorted 25% of the float. I'd cover if I were you.
But tonight's a night where we test First Blush by storm. Thursday on Mad Money we tackle not one, none two, not three, or even four, but five CEOs dealing with first blush impressions about everything from quarterly reports to acquisitions to ESG, the latter being matched against the stunning board room change at Exxon Mobil (XOM) , where insurgents with very little money at stake got two board seats.
How important is ESG, though, to a consumer-facing company? For that we are turning to Mondelez (MDLZ) , the snacking company that has made one brilliant move after another.
We've got Williams-Sonoma (WSM) with a big yawn after an amazing quarter and then we have the surprise elements of HP (HPQ) , Salesforce (CRM) and The Gap (GPS) , with quarters still a mystery that have, sadly, all become "at first blush stories." That's why, starting with Mondelez, I want to start with a blank slate, or a blank face, devoid of blush to find out what's really going on so we can make the best decisions possible for our portfolio (Action Alerts PLUS).