Goldman Blows Out Earnings: Numbers vs. Actions

"Given the challenging fundamental backdrop in the global economy, we continue to be cautious about the near-term outlook for our businesses …" 
That’s what Goldman Sachs CFO had to say after it posted pretty good earnings numbers on Monday. Of course, no one in the banking sector in his or her right mind is going to say things are great. But numbers are one thing, actions are another.

Financials Lead

Thank you, Wells Fargo. The S&P 500 ramped nearly 4% on Friday as Wells Fargo said it expects its first-quarter earnings to be nearly double what analysts were expecting. And it wasn’t even Wells Fargo’s earnings day – the company pre-announced earnings that will be released on April 22. These days, if you have something to crow about, you do it. ASAP.
 

Earning Season Starts with AA, BBBY, and CVX

Time flies. Seems like earnings season just ended and yet here we are again. But first-quarter earnings kick off tomorrow with Alcoa (NYSE:AA). 
Given how far the stock market has come over the last three weeks, you might think stock prices are set up for a fall as the reality of earnings dashes the enthusiasm that economic recovery is at hand.

HOV and GHM still in the green

Unemployment numbers continue to rise, but investors are more focused on the hope that the economy has bottomed and may be positioning for recovery. At least for now. 
Please note that I said "positioning for recovery." Mortgage rates are down and that seems to be helping the housing market a little. Credit afforded by the Treasury aimed at removing toxic assets from banks is resulting in higher valuations for those banks. 

GM Bankruptcy; HOV in the Green; RGLD, MYGN, NFLX Best Picks

Even before they’ve had the chance to present a third (or is it fourth?) turnaround plan, President Obama has said bankruptcy is the best way for GM and Chrysler to deal with their problems. 

GM would be able to restructure with bankruptcy protection, but apparently it’s a lost cause for Chrysler if the proposed Fiat merger fails. GM’s got around $47 billion in debt it has to deal with.

HOV Gives Up Gains + Oil Shock for Late 2009

*****Today is the last day of the second quarter. Mutual funds are no doubt buying the top performers to make their holdings look good. That helps explain today’s rebound. But what about yesterday’s declines?  
Obviously, a quick 25% rally is going to have investors taking profits. This was especially apparent in the small-cap sector. It’s well known that small-cap stocks outperform when the stock market is recovering from a deep sell-off. Average gains for small caps digging out of the hole are 24%.  
And we saw almost exactly that level of gain with Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE:HOV)

GM’s Wagoner Gone and Oil Below $50: Time to Buy?

I didn’t know former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner was so popular. The morning headlines in the financial press make it sound as though stocks are selling off because Wagoner and other auto industry executives failed to put forth strong enough turnaround plans to guarantee more government loans.  
Never mind that the S&P 500 rallied 167 points, or 25%, over the last two weeks. Ignore the possibility that one of the sharpest rallies in stock market history might have some investors taking profits. 

Retail Sales Up, Income Down: buy KB and HOV?

I’m fond of saying "never underestimate the American consumer." Retail sales for February came in with a 0.2% rise, even though income fell 0.2%. Stocks look ready to sell off, but it’s not a response to retail sales. The indices have come a long way over the past two weeks, and it’s time for a little profit-taking.  
I still believe that "buy the dips" is the appropriate strategy for the current rally. Of course, I’m talking about taking short- to medium-term positions. For the long-term investor, I suspect that you will get better entry points in the future.

U.S. Great Depression & Profits from HOV and GHM

Former Czech Prime Minister and European Union President Topolanek called the U.S. economic stimulus plan "a road to Hell." He claims the Fed, Treasury and Administration of repeating the mistakes of the 1930s that sent the United States into the Great Depression.  
Also attacked were the stimulus bill’s supposedly "protectionist" policies.