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No Winners In Wal-Mart Mess

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Retailer's political posturing reflects poorly.

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Hello from New York, where this isn't exactly what I was hoping the other side of a deeply strange July would look like but I'm not ready to write off August until at least the middle of next week. You want some idea of how weird it is out there? I'm starting to think the French were onto something with the whole "take the month off" approach. When I start leaning Francophile, it's time for me to take a few days off.

Here's what I'm watching as I eyeball the 6 PM whistle:

  • The Elan (ELN) and Biogen (BIIB) news broke during last night during Fast Money. I'm not sure exactly where we went from there. The news is unfortunate, the horse is well and truly out of the barn in terms of stock insight and sometimes there simply isn't a trade. I expect no sympathy for the TV talking-head devil. I'm just saying, sitting on that desk can feel like being in Steve Austin's cockpit during the Six Million Dollar Man intro. We'll rebuild it tonight. Better. Stronger. Faster. It'll be like the Olympics, only without the pollution and thinly veiled human rights violations.

  • Wal-Mart (WMT) is on the wires, taking political sides. As a shareholder I'm willing to file this with the "managers in dresses" fiasco and call it a hiccup on the road to generally much-improved PR out of Bentonville. No winners in this mess. I think the media is overreacting and I'd like my companies to remain politically mum.

  • Acthtung, baby! BMW warns, General Motors (GM) turns in an astonishing (in a bad way) quarter, there were apparently no July sales and the auto stocks are relatively strong. The autos trade like penny stocks these days. It's very hard trading vehicles even as the fundamentals floor it towards bankruptcy.

  • Sun Microsystems (JAVA) announced a GM-esque outlook, pinning the blame on "customers in financial distress." It's both hard to argue with that as a genuine problem for JAVA and impossible to make the case for buying the stock.

  • Alan Greenspan and Brett Favre: two men desperately in need of a friend to throw an arm over their shoulder and walk them away from open microphones.

  • Someday MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) will be more predictable public companies worth a long-side shot. That day isn't today.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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