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My Gut Feeling for Today, Dec 21, 2011

Welcome to Winter! The Winter Solstice will officially arrive at 5:30 PM today.

Yesterday Hanukkah Harry delivered a nice present to the markets as a combination of German business confidence and strong housing data in the USA helped to spark a deeply oversold rally. It looks like Hanukkah Harry saved Santa Claus once again. On Moishe! On Herschel! On Shlomo! Let’s hope we get seven more days like yesterday.

There was no celebration for the good people of Greenhill & Co. (GHL). An airplane crash (not far from my home) on a major highway killed two of its senior executives. That occurred on the same day that AT&T (T) withdrew its bid for T-Mobile. GHL was a major advisor on that deal. We also found out that, due to the failure of the AT&T deal, GHL rankings in the Investment Banking M&A league table plunged down to 40th place. This could be the beginning of the end of this company as I am very skeptical that it will meet 2011 and 2012 earnings estimates. The stock traded slightly higher yesterday but could be a investment short for the coming year.

After the market close Oracle (ORCL) reported disappointing results and the stock got hammered. It looks lower by nearly 10%. This is helping to drag pre-market futures lower despite an active ECB this morning. ON the other hand, Nike (NKE) reported an excellent quarter and gaining over 1.5% in the pre-market.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) reports results after the market closes. BBBY is expected to earn 89 cents on net sales of $2.35 billion. This compares to earnings of 74 cents on net sales of $2.19 billion a year ago. BBBY stock has been very strong this year on the back of consistently reporting better than expected results. I expect that the November quarter will be no different. Every visit to BBBY this quarter was always met with heavy in-store traffic. The stock appears undervalued to me and could get to $75 by the end of next year. The economic calendar is quiet for today.

Disclosure: At the time of this commentary Scott Rothbort, his family and/or clients of LakeView Asset Management, LLC had no positions in stocks mentioned — although positions can change at any time. 

You can email Scott at scottallstars@gmail.com

Scott Rothbort is also the publisher of the LakeView Restaurant & Food Chain Report, a newsletter focusing in on food, restaurant and agricultural stocks. You can subscribe at www.restaurantstox.com


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