What the Market Taught Me This Week


It's been one of the strangest weeks I can remember on the stock market, and the 10% Promise team has been working overtime to keep up with all of the wild stock swings. The market is blown off the debt ceiling debate (for now), so earnings dominated our moves this week.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen
For years, Netflix (NAS: NFLX) could do no wrong. Subscribers signed up by the millions, a small price increase was met with a shrug, and investors watched the stock scream higher. That all came to a screeching halt this week after Netflix reported earnings and predicted churn and growth rates would be worse than expected after a BIG price increase.

I thought it was time to unplug Netflix a couple of weeks ago after the company increased prices, and investors are starting to agree. One quarterly report doesn't change everything about Netflix, but the company's 75 P/E ratio looks a lot less attractive if customers are starting to question its value proposition. I learned that a good thing doesn't last forever, and eventually, valuations catch up to you. This was the week they caught up to Netflix.

China is fun ... from a distance
Watching Harbin Electric (NAS: HRBN) investors go from euphoric to panic is about as entertaining as the stock market can get. A management buyout has been on and off the table more times than Lady Gaga has changed outfits this month, and it must have even the most adamant bulls and bears scratching their heads.

I've talked about the risks in China before, but Harbin highlights everything we can't trust about China. Investors really have no clue what is going on, and a bet in one direction or the other is no safer than betting on black at the roulette wheel.

Do-it-yourself drinks rule the week
SodaStream International
(NAS: SODA) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NAS: GMCR) both popped this week as the drink makers' momentum continues. Personally, I think Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' hot quarter helped drag SodaStream higher on hopes that the market for "make it yourself" soda is growing as quickly as single serve coffee.

Lofty P/E ratios have me nervous, but growth is off the charts for both companies, and I love a product that screams "made for lazy people." I mean, who wants to go to the effort of brewing a pot of coffee or carrying cans home when a single-serving drink is only a button away?

Foolish side note of the week
Coming into the week, I fully expected we would be reporting on stocks plunging over concerns about the debt debate in Washington. Although the market has been down, it certainly isn't down as much as I would have expected. To me, it seems like the market "knows" that everyone in Washington is bluffing and that a deal is going to be done in time. If not, Mr. Market may have a big surprise waiting for investors early next week. That's my big lesson for the week.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of SodaStream International, Netflix, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters; buying puts on Netflix; and shorting and creating a lurking gator position on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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