Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stocks are Smarter than Analysts (and Money Managers, Pundits, Brokers et. al) (ACI; BTU CNX)

That headline was a mantra of one of my mentors. He was jaded however. In his first career he went from E-1 to Commander, U.S. Navy. Then he was a counselor to juvenile delinquents. Then a bunch of different things in securities/finance (he liked trading best and was very, very good, thought owning his own shop was a necessary pain-in-the-butt).

What, the reader asked warily, triggered this memory cascade?
With all the negatives swirling around the business, a rational (but un-savvy) observer would expect the stocks to go begging for a bid. Not even close. Here's the story from the AP via Yahoo:
(more me below)

Shares of Coal Producers Lose Ground As Investors Take Profits After Weeks of Highs
Profit-taking hit the coal sector hard Tuesday, as investors pulled back following weeks of share price highs across the sector driven by international supply constraints.

Coal prices are rising rapidly as production has been hampered in countries including Australia and South Africa, and U.S. producers are seen as viable alternatives to accommodate the commodity's surging international demand....MORE

I am really starting to wonder what price would trigger a bid by the Chinese for the entire U.S. coal industry.

Remember, under Kyoto (and Kyoto-like thinking) it's okey-dokey for the Chinese to burn as much coal as they need. So they do. And they will.