Minority report: What the remnant is thinking as the herd wanders past.(Read article summary)
Every once in a while, the silent minority is on to something. What is the minority paying attention to now?
Melanie Stetson Freeman / The Christian Science Monitor / File
They say that the crowd usually outsmarts the remnant, until the remnant gets one very, very right...and then look out! In that spirit, here's a look at what the minority is thinking right now...
A minority of people like the Intel/MacAfee deal. An even smaller minority believe that it means anything for the markets.
A minority of people think that Europe's seen the worst of it.
A minority of people are bullish or even sanguine about US equities, an even smaller minority believe that the S&P 500 can actually hit the $96 consensus earnings target for 2011.
A minority of people are aware that this 3rd quarter is lapping some of the toughest year-over-year economic comps in history. This is because last year's 3rd quarter was itself lapping the catastrophic 3rd quarter of '08. Percentage gains of the magnitude of last year's will be tough to come by and only a minority of people understand this.
A minority of people expect the status quo in Washington to continue and an even smaller minority believe that the incumbents should even bother showing up.
A minority of people believe in the recovery at this point and an even smaller minority have noticed that Obama is not seeking credit for lukewarm reports anymore, he has instead begun blaming Republicans. The President's rhetoric about the success of the stimulus is now believed by a much smaller minority - those who are determined to convince themselves that he can do no wrong.
A minority of people realize that the GOP only needs to take 40 seats to regain control of the House and an even smaller minority are looking at this gridlock as a potentially positive catalyst for the stock market.
A minority of people believe that Apple will ever have any serious competition and an even smaller minority are aware of the fact that Android smartphones gained 900% more market share over the last quarter.
A minority of people are seriously concerned about China's high wire act. An even smaller minority understands how dependent each individual Chinese province is on keeping the real estate transaction fee machine humming.
A minority of people have connected the dots and figured out that even a gentle Chinese slowdown could prove catastrophic for mineral export-driven economies, especially in Latin America.
A minority of people understand the national ramifications of fraud charges against New Jersey municipal bond issuers. An even smaller minority understands that if many states and counties were actually forced to tell the truth about their finances, the bond vigilantes would be on their doorstep.
A minority of people understand that the official unemployment rate is about to breach 10%. An even smaller minority is willing to concede that between 10% and 11% may represent a peak once we get there, just like it did in the early 80's.
A minority of people are watching the dollar anymore. This was the last spring's obsession and it did not survive the summer once stocks and the dollar lost their perfectly inverse correlation.
A minority of people are still discussing gold's price, despite the fact that it's still hanging around all-time highs. This is a silence that may prove to be deafening.
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