Who says old school technology is dead? Has anyone notice the top performers in the in July?
Take a look:
Intel up 12.1 percent
IBM up 6.1 percent
MSFT up 5.7 percent
Cisco up 4.6 percent
Visa is also having a strong month, up over 5 percent. But you get the point: old school tech is back.
1) Initial public offerings (IPOs) have had a quiet week, but two biotech names priced below thire range.
Roka Bioscience, a molecular diagnostics company that specializes in detection of food-borne pathogens, priced five million shares at $12, below the $14 to $16 range. Separately, Terrapin 3 Acquisition (TRTLU) priced 18.5 million shares at $10.
However, the IPO to watch this week is TerraForm Power (TERP), a clean power generator that came out of SunEdison and other parties that is seeking to price 20.1 million shares within a $23 to $25 tonight. For this stock, the key attraction is: a healthy dividend, and b) a belief that retail electricity prices will be rising over time, due to increasing fossil fuel prices. That will make renewable energy competitive with prevailing energy prices.
Here's an award (if there is such a thing) for the Oddest IPO of the Week (or month or year). I read summaries of every IPO every week, and every once in a while you come across one and say to yourself, "Really? Somebody does this?"
So it is with Trupanion (TRUP) which is seeking to go public tonight by raising 7.1 million shares within a range between $13-$15. They do medical insurance...for cats and dogs.
That's right. Insurance for pets.
Before you start laughing (I certainly did), you should know about the high cost of pet care. Costs can easily exceed $500 per visit, or even $1,000. The company says its target market is "large and unpenetrated" (ouch), and they appear to be right: only 3 percent of dogs and 1 percent of cats are insured, according to Consumer Reports.
They have 181,000 pets enrolled, 85 percent dogs, 15 percent cats, a compounded annual growth rate of 51 percent.
2) One of the largest exchange-traded fund (ETF) only asset managers, Good Harbor, has a tactical ETF fund that re-balances twice a month: once on the first and sometime in the middle of the month.
This from the company: "After having increased equity exposure at the beginning of the month, based on the mid-month view, the Tactical Core U.S. portfolio equity allocation decreased from 100 percent to 75 percent moving into the back half of July." Good Harbor is known to be particularly active in large ETFs like iShares Core S&P 500 ETF, and there is speculation that their selling may have been a factor in the declines we saw last week.
3) The U.S. government's decision to impose new sanctions on Russian companies close to Vladimir Putin has had a predictable effect on the Russian stock market. The sanctions shut off medium and longer-term dollar funding for companies like Rosneft, the largest oil producter, and Novatek, the second largest gas producer, and Gazprombank, the third largest bank.
The largest Russian fund in the U.S., Market Vectors Russia ETF, is down about 8 percent this year.
--By CNBC's Bob Pisani