Wednesday, August 16, 2006

SAY WHAT, Abby Joseph Cohen?

CNBC's Erin Burnett interviewed Abby Joseph Cohen this morning.  Erin introduce Abby as "perennially bullish."  Abby corrected Erin, saying that in March of 2000, she was recommending folks to sell stocks.

SAY WHAT?  SAY FREAKIN' WHAT?  I've been taking a lot of flu medication, and suddenly I wondered if I woke up in some alternative reality where all the analysts made sell recommendations in March 2000 right at the top tick.  (They all sure seem to claim that they did, don't they?)

But with the help of the internet, we can hop in Peabody's Wayback Machine and see just exactly what Abby Joseph Cohen was saying in 2000.

  • From March 30, 2000 column at The Fools' site:  On Tuesday, she (Abby Joseph Cohen) announced a reduction in the stock allocation in Goldman Sachs' model portfolio from 70% to 65%.  "For the first time in a decade," the media-appointed leader of the bulls declared, "our model portfolio is no longer recommending an overweighted position in technology."

==> OK, so her "Sell signal heard 'round the world" was a reduction of equity allocation by 5% and to not "overweight" tech.  Does this classify as her telling folks to sell stocks?  You be the judge!

  • From Smart Money:   But when the equity-bubble popped in March 2000, ushering in the first recession in a decade, Cohen lost her leading status. For way too long, she stood by her 2001 price target of 1,650 for the S&P 500. And in March 2001 — when the recession is now known to have officially started — she advised clients to increase their exposure to stocks, explaining that economic imbalances "have been largely resolved."

==> I thought I had recalled some of her price targets.

  • Capital Stool in a March 31, 2001 column reviews Abby Joseph Cohen's performance from 2000-1.   Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mother (Cohen) was quoted in the media on March 22, 2000, one year and one day ago specifically recommending tech. On March 28th, Goldman recommended a portfolio weighting of 35% in tech and telecom. The Mother specifically said she was not at all bearish on tech. She maintained this recommended weighting throughout the tech collapse, and she publicly reiterated her positive stance on tech no fewer seven times between April 2000 and January 2001.  Dr. Stool wishes to point out that maintaining a 35% weighting in tech would have required constantly adding to positions all the way down, a strategy that would have been even more devastating than simply holding the original position, which was bad enough.

==> This is a good column.  Check it out for sure.  They also have another run down on Abby here.

  • From CNN on May 16th, 2000:  Speaking Tuesday at a conference sponsored by the Economic Strategy Institute, a think tank, Cohen said she expects the Standard & Poor's 500 index of large company stocks to reach 1,575 by year's end (2000)- a 7 percent annual gain.

Now let me ask you a question.  Did you see Abby Joseph Cohen on CNBC this morning talking with Erin Burnett?  What was your first reaction when The Mother (lol) said that she told folks to sell stocks in March 2000? 

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