There are some stocks out there that worry me. If you check up on Intel, you’ll find a stock that’s been going down since January of 2004. Since the beginning of this year, the stock market has been particularly unkind to this stock, even though the technology sector as a whole is improving.
Microsoft hasn’t been doing much either, and Oracle continues to trade in the same range since 2002. It looks like the old technology leaders are dead in the water now. I wonder if they will ever come back.
Two other large-cap companies that I like to follow are General Electric and IBM. I follow these companies because they are truly global in their operations and I’m always trying to get a feel for the global economy. Both these stocks aren’t doing anything and they haven’t done anything since 2002 when they were going down substantially.
This tells me two things: One, both General Electric and IBM are no longer market leaders, and two, both stocks are ripe for a move, probably to the upside.
It seems to me that the stock market just isn’t interested in the old market leaders any more. Times have changed. The market’s more interested in Caterpillar or ExxonMobil. Obviously, the stock market’s interest has reverted to commodity-driven industries.
The business cycle has changed to the raw material world. This we all know. But it won’t be too long before the commodity-driven market of today will lessen in its importance, and the business cycle will change once again.
All this musing for what I’m really trying to say. It will be a while yet, but today’s large-cap laggards like GE and IBM are becoming awfully attractive in this market. A new buying opportunity is developing in these traditional “blue-chip” benchmarks.