Despite that big move last Friday, the market has largely been in a lull that's kind of like the quiet before the quiet. Interestingly, technology momentum names regained footing as early holiday sales bolster best case scenarios for some key names in the space. Cyber Monday was more successful than Black Friday, and while they will both play important roles, the notion that the Internet will be more valuable to the retail model than brick and mortar is gaining converts.
Let's not forget that the demise of brick and mortar is more than a decade beyond when it was supposed to officially "kick the bucket".
Now, it's how important social media is and will be to the Internet part of the story. For all the hype, perhaps it was a social media component where consumers become a de facto sales force that was missing from the equation. So, all of a sudden shares of Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) are soaring, when only a few weeks ago conventional wisdom had them trickling lower on valuation concerns. In many ways, these names could be a proxy for the overall economy and overall market. Disdain and doubt could swiftly morph into a confident juggernaut.
That doesn't happen overnight, but the belief that the corner has been turned would play an important role in actually turning the corner.
Death at a Funeral
Ironically, the numbers are getting better long before the kind of confidence needed for a successful transition to meaningful growth. The average American is in mourning. Many remember the good old days, and wonder if they can ever come back. Many have simply lost faith in the numbers, the system, and the promise of the country. Some are trying to rewrite the promise into an equation that makes the government an indentured servant of the citizen, or takes earnings from all individuals and businesses whose general purpose for fun and to keep everyone happy.
For too many people, each day is like death at a funeral where they lose another piece of hope and belief.
People greet and mourn death differently, but for many seeing President Obama join in with Prime Ministers Cameron and Thorning Schmidt for a selfie at Nelson Mandela's memorial was an example of being detached from the moment. The photo is a reminder for many that maybe the President of the United States is detached from their day-to-day struggles. The guy is having too much fun while millions are out of work, working part time and losing healthcare insurance when they were told they could keep their plan and doctors.
Polls for President Obama are slipping fast:
> Approval 38%, from 39% (lowest ever)
> Disapproval 57%, from 54%
> Approval 43%
> Disapproval 53%
> Unfavorably 52%
The transition from "mourning in America" to "morning in America" can happen quickly when everyone embraces the notion that until then, it's going to be a slow grind for many. It could mean missing more opportunities for those that need them most. So the market is on pause, but probably moves higher with or without the crestfallen.
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