Good deeds should be their own rewards, but in the stock market that it not entirely true. Good earnings, especially in a harsh world, are supposed to yield shareholders something. In the perverse climate of suspicion that has enveloped the market for the last two days, doing good, doing well, means next to nothing.
The Good Samaritan way of thinking was never part of commerce. It was consigned to the religious realm and stayed there. The ancient figure Job has stayed with the world of business especially as it is manifests in the stock market.
Today, Intel (INTC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC) should be doing well. They earned the right with outstanding numbers for the last quarter. But, each is up only modestly, 1% or a bit better. They have been dragged into the pit by the news that retail sales were poor last month, down 1.2%.
There was not much surprise in the retail figures. The economy is in a recession. It was bad, and there is more coming.
Intel and the two banks don’t have much connection to the shopping environment. A mind could stretch the case, but the conclusion is bogus.
But, bad things happened to good people. The shareholders in three companies which did remarkably well found that out today.
Douglas A. McIntyre