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OPINION

Resolved But No Leadership (and it gets worse)

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Markets edged higher into the close once again. The buy on dip crowd is decidedly smaller than it was coming into the year, but it’s regaining its confidence. The good news is that bad news is still bad news for companies that miss or lower guidance. In fact, irrational exuberance has never been a hallmark of the market since it bottomed in March 2009, but it’s often described that way in the press. On that note, the market needs leadership and that’s been elusive for several months.

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I will get to leadership, but look at the narrow trading range for the past week. Once again, I was impressed by a session that could have seen the Dow off 100 points (maybe a lot more), but it had a slow methodical rebound that gained strength into the closing bell.

Beneath the surface, it wasn’t a rip-roaring session.

NYSE

UP Volume: 1,355,845,128

Down Volume: 1,874,146,524


Elementary

Monday’s feat will be a lot tougher after International Business Machines (IBM) posted another disastrous quarter, which should have been expected. Apparently, it was not built into the share price.

I was expecting a lackluster report and I had hoped to hear more on cloud and mobile. Small acquisitions of StrongLoop and Meteorix aren’t getting the job done fast enough for shareholders. IBM needs a giant acquisition in the space to prove it’s serious. $100 billion in buybacks has done nothing but waste time and opportunity. That window is closing quickly.

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My buddy David Nelson at Belpointe Asset Management points out that the conference call was a lot of protesting as two key words were used throughout the call:

  • Decline: 21 times
  • Down: 34 times

The company’s management seems so oblivious that it’s infuriating. Watson seems cool, but it has to be more than a marketing gimmick or a game show contestant.

Elementary, I don’t believe Ginni Rometty should keep her job.

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