bank engineered sub-prime mortgage melt down was ten years ago, and ten years equals one very old bull. STOCKjAW charged the desert outside Las Vegas to ponder this and the Boeing tragedy.
While trade talks lumber, our equity market suffer. While the Chinese shoot for 6%-6.5% GDP growth, our tax cut sugar-rush burns to a crisp. A recent survey of U.S. corporations reveals that 84% engaged in “no additional hiring, or capital expenditures” as a result of those massive cuts. What now?
As Europe and Asia slow we show sporadic cranky growth. Think Amazon and Faceplant. The bulldozer of growth we used to take for granted is now firing on three cylinders and blowing dark fits of smoke. And then came Boeing.
Equity markets change. Ours has. All 52 cards have been tossed skyward. It’s our job to read the patterns. Could a bit of Martini motor lodge living help? Meanwhile, one lesson stands clear. Look wider for your wins, and take them when offered. Lately, “long term” means days, maybe weeks, not months or years.
and orderly are not the ways of the world,” our unpaid “consultant” assures me. Nice. He glances over from behind the big wheel. “You’re looking for situations,” he stares left over the desert. “Just when you suspect life is good, those baby whips you’ve been flushing down your throne will come back–with evil vengeance.”
Baby wipes? Now he’s leaning over, teeth bared. “Never pray for smooth. What you’re looking for are situations,” he repeats. He finally relaxes back into his seat.
Open desert squeezes tight to the edges of the liquid-smooth two lane. “Why does the Federal Reserve Chairman suddenly decide to grant an interview to 60 Minutes?” he says as a Winnebago sizzles past headed back toward the glitter dome.
“Because doing only half the job leaves him with a lot of free time?” I hiss rolling down the window. “When the February jobs number comes in at 20K there’s trouble in the wind,” he corrects.
“Those numbers are meaningless,” I point toward Washington “all hopelessly skewed by the shutdown and a polar blast. Wait until we see the March figure.” We screech left and sand-skid to a halt in the parking lot. Teenagers vape in casual clusters and some kid falls into the swimming pool. High and glamorous the “Welcome” sign looms over the highway.
The Nuclear Motor Lodge sits just outside of glittering Las Vegas much closer than you think. A motor lodge from the original Martini ear, the Nuclear’s retro feel rolls over you like time travel. Tucked spaciously within it’s harboring horse shoe the pool jiggles invitingly and glows every night. “Stop fretting,” I assure him. “The wi-fi here is faster than in DC, and the best ice and pop machine’s are on this end.” I point toward the west wing of the glassy three story motor lodge. We’ve already been spotted by guests.
Four hours later the fix was in as fire trucks pulsed the parking lot in red and blue revolvers. A crowd of busy bodies knot about the lobby. “Back up,” I hiss at a batch of bobbing hairnets. They gossip in hushed tones behind pivoted hands. “The lobby was robbed.” “The night clerk’s dead inside.”
We push past the spotless glass. Lezzlie wordlessly hands me my pristine edition of the WSJ. Back in the lodge’s intimate embrace we plop down, my laptop atop a pool side table. That’s when I see it. 7:04 AM. Boeing’s in the ugly grip of a -9.78% drop on rapidly mounting volume.
The horrid news emerged in bits. “Tragic in-flight problem with Boeing’s newest workhorse, the 737 Max 8, some where over Ethiopia.”
sunlight spears the horizon. I stare across the wire mesh table.”It’s a tragedy I shout–I feel like a ghoul.” He shakes his head. “You are a ghoul. Who buys stocks on tragic news? How many shares have been traded so far?” he leans back as steam rolls the top of his coffee. “3.4 million.”
“You weren’t flying the aircraft were you? You didn’t force anyone’s involvement did you?” And he was right. One hour into pre-market trading had already nearly equaled a normal day’s volume for Boeing shares. I watch the price churn even further down by the minute, until placing another buy order at $375.00 a share.
“Someone drowned in the pool overnight,” one woman whispers from the lodge’s covered walkway. “It was an overdose in the parking lot.”
“Water makes the world go round. That’s why the smartest people are buying water rights left and right,” our consultant advises. By 8:02 the Side-by-Side is packed and maintaining a restless wait line. Boeing hovers around $374, or -12.5% down. “This will shake out much like the Target data breach,” he croaks. “Bad things happen even to the best companies. In December it sat momentarily at $295.00, but not on fundamentals. That’s when you buy.” Two weeks prior BA was topping at $446.00. Would it return in two months, or were shares being revalued?
“By Christmas this will be a memory. The people now claiming to never set foot on-board a Max 8 will be back in line and loving Southwest all over.”
“The water’s been cut to all lodge rooms due to a leak,” the waitress says. “It happened last week too.” She slides plates into position. “People can’t take a little disruption without flocking to the office. It’ll be over by noon” she assures us. “You’ll be able to lunch on the bar deck by them–no worries.”
By noon the crowds had vanished, traffic around the U resumed a leisurely pace, and a sense of luxurious renewal returned to the lodge’s manicured horseshoe. By then STOCKjAW was sitting on an over-sized chunk of Boeing. Cost basis $380.41. Updates continued tumbling in over CNBC. Soon the black boxes would be found and the FAA would provide an overview.
Thanks for Reading.
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