Monday, May 12, 2008

Trouble With Fedex...Is this Bad?

FedEx guided down on this quarter's earnings estimates. I always say that companies like FedEx and UPS are good barometer's of the economy. In this case, that's exactly what it is. The big hit is coming from fuel prices, which is the big problem for everyone in the US right now. Demand is weaker, like much of the US, but not horrible. The key here is that our economy is sluggish, but not that bad.

Although stocks have risen well off their tech-bubble bear market lows, there hasn't been any meaningful gains for the decade as a whole. Don't be surprised if stocks move higher as the US sorts out its economic troubles. Investor sentiment, even though it spiked in late April, is bearish, especially among individual investors. Individuals are usually the ones you can count on to do the opposite when in comes to investing. Just look at mutual fund flows and money market flows in the late 90's and early 2000's. Mutual funds peaked with the market, and were very low when the market was recovering.

Stay defensive, but optimistic. Don't get lured into buying poor companies because they are cheap, but also don't let the wave of bearishness cloud your decision making.

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