Waiting for the Fed

We’re all standing by waiting for the Fed announcement. I think another 25 basis points is a foregone conclusion. There’s some talk of 50 basis points, which I doubt, but that could come at a future meeting. The long-end of the bond market has not been in a good mood for the past two weeks, and that’s the ultimate driver of Fed policy.
I’ve been surprised by the resurgence of the energy sector lately. Every time I think the group is flat on its back, it comes to life again. The Dow Jones Oil and Gas Index (^DJUSEN) tried to break 500 three different times. I’m not a chart guy, but that may have been a warning sign. The index quickly fell to 420 around mid-June. Today, it’s back up to 470.
I still like defensive stocks, like consumer staples and health care. Although I noticed that General Mills (GIS) lowered its forecast today. The company reported earnings that were in line with expectations.
It looks to be another nice day on Wall Street. Almost all of our stocks are up. On our Buy List, Medtronic made some minor adjustments to its earnings report for last year. The adjustment reduced revenues by $11 million, and earnings by $6.6 million. This won’t have any impact on its future business.
I’m starting to get annoyed with Home Depot (HD). The company made a big mistake with its recent shareholder conference, plus it stopped providing sales reports. Since its March high, the stock is down nearly 18%. Lowe’s (LOW), by comparison, is down about 8%.
I still like HD a lot, and it had a very good earnings report last quarter. The stock is going for less than 12 times this year’s earnings, which is very cheap. But I’d like to see management be a bit more shareholder friendly.
The mega-cap stocks are trailing the market again today. I noticed that of all the stocks will market values of $100 billion or more, Cisco (CSCO) had the highest P/E ratio, but it’s followed by General Electric (GE), Amgen (AMGN), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Coca-Cola (KO). That’s an odd mix. I wouldn’t have expected to see so many consumer names. This is a very weird market.

Posted by on June 29th, 2006 at 11:00 am

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