Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Too Should End Well and Other Stuff

Look who has no idea how bad the job market is right now... Or maybe she knows that unemployment has bottomed. LA Times link here.

"A lawsuit filed in San Diego County Superior Court on Friday accuses Costco Wholesale Corp. of breaking California labor law by routinely keeping employees from going home each night for 15 minutes as managers remove jewelry from cases and check registers.

The policy, the suit says, amounts to false imprisonment.

The lawsuit, seeks at least $50 million in punitive damages..."


Let me take a moment to clarify my view of the equity markets, since I know I tend to look at most sides of the issues and therefore might sound like I'm hedging or waffling from time to time.

I think the March 9 bottom was the bottom for this bear market. Unemployment is the sole U.S. economic stat that has not yet started putting in a bottom. Find stocks you like and buy them. I have no idea why the market yesterday was so strong, and it looks like there will be follow-through today. Most pundits and pros are calling for a correction and maybe we'll get one. Maybe we won't.

One thing I do know is that valuation is always important but is rarely the most important element in whether a stock goes up or down in the short term. Stocks are down so much and at the economic climate is and will be changing so dramatically that we are probably in a period when valuation for "good" stocks is as unimportant is it will ever be.



Everybody and their brother is reporting that the best banks, Goldman and the two Morgans (J.P. and Stanley) are closer to their stated goal of repaying the TARP money, despite the fact that Geithner and Obama both sound as though they are backing down from the harshest elements of the bank executive pay restriction idea. The bright side is that one might conclude that from the point of view of managements at these firms, it's not just about how much they can pay themselves.

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