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Choices Still Out There


Many stocks oversold, represent opportunity.

I think we need Wal-Mart (WMT) to step up to the plate. Yes, the big and bad (some would take that meaning several ways) retailer that is the epitome of fiscal prudence has always wanted to be a bank, too: Now is its chance.

I love the fact that Warren Buffett's going into the mix. It means a lot: Imagine if the nation's largest company made a move as well. If I were Citigroup (C), I'd be on the phone with the folks down in Arkansas.

Would it be controversial? You bet: Special interest groups from unions to banks to other retailers would howl about it. Still, wouldn't it be exciting? Sure, the company has failed with applications in several states over the last two years, but it's got a beachhead in Canada. The FDIC is pressed for cash and people are desperate. I'm sure some people would rather the Chinese own US banks than Wal-Mart or even Russian banks now that the old USSR is responding an SOS from a NATO member.

On another topic, how many times can intervention happen before it's time to say "Let the chips fall where they may"? I've lost track of all the stuff that has been instituted this year to get the economy moving. The Fed has gotten creative and been more than accommodating to no avail. The world's stock markets have been accommodating, too, but the jury is still out.

The Fed has more arrows in its quiver, but it may have to reach back and shoot them all, worrying about the consequences later.

Yesterday Hank Paulson explained that things take time in an effort to dampen expectations of an early solution. In addition, the Treasury Secretary said more banks will fail and that there were no regrets about allowing Lehman Brothers to bite the dust. I guess that means its okay for Morgan Stanley (MS) to bite the dust, too.

Talk about a race with the devil: It's still a couple of days before the company will be able to get its investment from Mitsubishi, and that's if Mitsubishi is still interested. Of course, if Morgan Stanley goes, the focus will be on super-regional banks like Regions Financial (RF), National City (NCC) and Sun Trust (STI). Would-be buyers could wait on the sidelines and sift through the ashes, especially if the FDIC is reluctant to play matchmaker again.

It's really difficult to see where or how the market turns, but I must say that there were several hints at some kind of rebound yesterday. I saw several quality names that acted like they wanted to turn. The share prices on many of these names are beyond bizarre. This is really a sad situation. I used the term "oversold" often but what we are seeing now hints at a global depression.

Is This The Coalition of the Willing?

Hank Paulson is gathering movers and shakers, a group of 20 or G20, to address the global economic crisis. This is a great idea as it could get everyone on the same page. Many of these markets are down more than America (Dow is off 34.1%) so at this point we need each other.

Basic Instincts

The way agriculture stocks are trading it feels like we are going to get back to our roots, deep roots, and start to hunt and gather again.

Hey, this market is so rough I feel like an angry caveman more and more each day. However, CF Industries (CF), Deere (DE), Potash (POT) and Mosaic (MOS) are just a handful of names that look attractive.

American Tower (AMT) is appealing, Children's Place (PLCE) is attractive and Research in Motion (RIMM) is one of the deepest overreactions I have ever seen. I also liked the action in MasterCard (MA), Target (TGT) and Adobe (ADBE).

I feel most stocks are oversold and many are way oversold. Investors should begin looking for quality corporate names that will be around beyond our lifetimes and enjoy billions of dollars in sales and profits for decades to come.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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