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Goldman: Best House in Lousy Neighborhood


Company stays atop financials.


Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our analysis looking at charts, estimate revisions, vanishing book values, short interest, etc. that we tend to miss the forest from the trees. Look, we all want a bull market and of course most of the time we're in one but like Mick said, "You can't always get what you want."

The SPX is still putting out lower highs, the 200 day is still pointing down and a stroll through any mall is enough to shake the confidence of any Bull. Even the #1 cheerleader of New York City real estate, Donald Trump, said this morning that banks simply are not lending money.

It's not the end of the world. It happens. It doesn't mean we have to crawl into a cave and hibernate till the next thaw. There are stocks we can buy. It's just going to be a lot harder and you're going to have to put away the shotgun and get out a sniper rifle.

You had to smile yesterday when Goldman Sachs (GS) reported earnings. Yes it was down year over year but when compared to the rest of the Street the company's performance was outstanding.

Goldman's score card:

  • 2Q came in at $4.58 vs. $3.42 consensus.
  • Book value climbed to $97.49.
  • Wall Street's misery is Goldman's gain.
  • Counterparty risk is forcing institutions to Goldman in a flight to quality.
  • Second best equity underwriting quarter ever.
  • Trading did stumble with shortfalls in fixed income, currency and commodities.

Goldman's business model has a significant advantage. As the leader in Prime Brokerage it sees what the smart money and sometimes dumb money is doing. That's a huge advantage for what most believe is the world's largest Hedge Fund. After a strong opening yesterday Goldman gave into a weakening tape, closing down $2.65 on the day.

This is still a very dangerous sector for investors but no question Goldman is "the best house in a lousy neighborhood."

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Position in GS
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