A Fool Looks Back
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz
May 2, 2009
It's never fun when you turn on the television to find the word "pandemic" being tossed around like a basketball at a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition. Unfortunately, it's real and it's here. It may grow to be a lamentable yet small event in the coming weeks, but some investors are already positioning their portfolios in case the problem intensifies.
Pharmaceutical companies with treatments at stake took off. Airlines and travel portals sold off earlier this week. The "stay at home" stocks that were already faring well in a recession won over new believers. Investors have been jockeying for position -- either in or out of these stocks -- since Monday. Mr. Market has a way of trying to get in ahead of the news. However, all of these moves can go the other way.
Don't chase the herd yet. If anything, you may want to consider checking out some of the beaten-down stocks if things do stabilize sooner rather than later. Whether you're out in public or in the equity markets, my advice is the same: Be careful out there.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week:
Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA
) posted bad quarterly results, including a wider loss on a 20% top-line plunge. I guess we now know why it was busy wooing IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) for a buyout.
It seems as if Bank of America (Nasdaq: BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE: C) will probably need new capital. Bank of America can probably use a new CEO, too. For now, it'll settle for having the CEO lose his chairman spot on the company's board.
China's leading search engine keeps rolling. Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) posted another quarter of market-thumping results. Revenue soared 41%, so maybe it's time to dismiss any worrywart fears of China fading during the global recession.