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No Reason To Buy Lehman


Besieged financial too much trouble.


Greetings from New York, where the weather is perfect, the bank rally is suspect and the U.S. Open coverage starts at 1 pm. I'll level with you; if there wasn't enough news to choke a horse and if I didn't have to be in Times Square at 5 PM, this would be a nice day to spend at the beach.

Here's what I'm watching while trying to ignore the call of the wild:

  • I can understand the financials for a trade. If I hadn't put myself on "Financials Trading Probation" after Monday's foray, I might even try the financials for a trade. What I can't understand is why anyone, anywhere, would actually want to own something like Lehman Brothers (LEH). I mean, why would Goldman (GS) want to bother taking on that kind of turnaround effort (beyond the Bilderberg Group forcing Goldman to do it)? At least JP Morgan (JPM) got a nice building when it bought Bear.

  • Speaking of confusing strategies, is it appropriate to congratulate Yahoo (YHOO) for fighting off Microsoft (MSFT)? Going out on a limb, I'll say I doubt Carl Icahn or the other members of the Angry Billionaire Yahoo Shareholder's Club is going to offer Mr. Jerry Yang an "attaboy."

  • Post-operative Tiger played better than I would have thought he could have yesterday and the guy is simply a marvel. That said, there's still a lot of walking between now and his 14th Major title.

  • It's a big weekend for another Marvel (MVL) (the toys, not the chips) as the "re-imagined" version of The Incredible Hulk opens at a theater near you this weekend. I could be wrong (I didn't see Iron Man knocking the box-office cover off the ball) but I'd be leery of buying Marvel today picturing a rally on monster ticket sales.

  • If (and it's a huge if) the rally is real in that other angry, green disappointment -- the U.S. Dollar -- it's going to remove a serious tale wind from the sails of multinationals like Coke (KO). For that matter, a sustained up move in the buck would cause a lot of long-held assumptions to be thrown out the window.

But every once in a while you catch the right moment, the "magic six minutes," and it reminds you why you watch sports in the first place. Watching Boston claw their way back on top of LA after being down a couple dozen was one of those moments.

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Position in MSFT

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