On Thursday the S&P 500 sees it’s biggest percentage and point jump since December 1, 2010 and yet the stock that is its best performer (+202 percent!) over the last 52 weeks, does not participate in the rally: Netflix spacer (NFLX). It closed down half of a percent, adding to the steady, quiet decline that has chopped $40 (18 percent) off Netflix’s stock price in 12 trading days.
A certain frothiness has entered the market. It’s the kind of frothiness you get when fund managers, desperate not to miss the next leg of the rally, start chasing the riskiest stocks for a chance at outperformance. For proof you need look no further than the top 3 performing S&P 500 stocks so far this year.
Yet even after the intensity of Tuesday’s move, NYMEX crude still ranks among the worst ways to play energy so far in 2011. Including the spike, crude is up a mere 2.4 percent year to date, after spending most of the last seven weeks in negative territory.
As investors fret about a default of Greece’s $300 billion debt bill, consider this: at $10.2 trillion, the Japanese bond market is the largest government debt market on the planet. And Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, who made his first fortune betting against subprime mortgages, is now wagering that this market will collapse—soon.
As lovers of U.S. stocks sit back, smile, and watch the S&P 500 climb higher and higher, emerging market investors are pulling their hair out. China’s Shanghai Composite down 6 percent from November 2010 highs, Brazil’s Bovespa is down 9 percent, and (saving the best for last) India’s Sensex Index is down 10 percent.
This rally is quiet...Too quiet...The Dow has crept up 5.5 percent year-to-date, the VIX has sunk to near 3-year lows. All the while geopolitical chaos in Egypt and earnings disasters like Cisco swirl around the rally with no lasting impact.
When word broke that AOL struck a deal to buy Huffington Post, on Monday, for more than $300 million, it sent one clear message: content is still king.
America is now officially worried about a municipal bond meltdown. In a piece called ‘Day of Reckoning,’ CBS 60 Minutes showcased financial analyst Meredith Whitney’s bold prediction that we will see “50 to 100 sizable [muni] defaults...more. This will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars of defaults.” It’s a frightening forecast.