Carl Icahn must have tossed and turned Monday night, after the Apple debacle. Reeling from his losses, he was out there on Tuesday hyping the stock with all his might. They’re all doing it, from Warren Buffett on down, guys with billions of play-money and a loud voice.
“Global emerging markets are now trading in full-blown panic mode”
Tech isn’t exactly booming, as we’ve seen from numerous revenue and earnings debacles, collapsing sales in China and Russia, massive layoffs…. But that hasn’t kept “valuations” of money-losing tech startups from being pushed into the stratosphere – for the benefit of a very elite club.
“Thank goodness equities went up in 2013, otherwise it might have been a rather depressing year” – Societe Generale’s exasperated Global Quantitative Research team.
Since 2012, German economic growth has been back where it was when Germany was called the “Sick Man of Europe.” Only this time, Germany has been anointed the model economy for others to follow and admire.
I thought we’d never see “Merger Monday” again, the concept. But now, the unthinkable happened, the zombie phrase has walked back into the scene. Like in the bubble days of 2007: the big numbers were there, the deal exuberance, the craziness, the hoopla.
Signs of the entire industry in a heap of trouble are everywhere. Rumors just bubbled up that Dell would axe 25% of its global sales staff – over 9,000 souls. HP is sacking 34,000. PC shipments, including laptops, have been awful for three years in a row.
Hidden in the middle of the 25-page minutes of the last meeting, under the most wooden and convoluted prose, the Fed issued a doozie of a warning: it fretted about financial stability. It named soaring forward P/E ratios, stock buybacks, margin credit, and leveraged loans.
Corporate earnings season has been a doozy before it even got started. The well-scripted song and dance, designed to pull a bag over investors’ heads, works marvelously: stalled revenues and earnings propel stocks higher. But the shenanigans are bumping into limits.
Plug Power soared 68.4% in the first two trading days this year. Not because it got a buyout offer but because it made another one of its promising announcements. The stock is up by a factor of seven since July to close at … $2.61. Down from $1,500 in March 2000.