After a trip to China last month, I've begun drinking green tea as a follow-up to my morning cup of coffee. I like watching the tea leaves swirl around in the bottom of the cup. Like watching a stream, it has a calming effect. And then I start thinking about the industry and trying to divine what's going on in those leaves.
We know from reading eetimes.com every day that forecasters are pulling in their outlooks. Formerly bullish on '07, most are now skittish.
Yet stock prices are pretty solid. Look at the programmable-logic sector. Shares of the major players have surged this year (amid warnings of an industry slowdown, this needs to be noted). Altera, which last week reported a 28 percent quarterly rise in profit, has led the pack, with its share price up 25 percent in the past six months. Xilinx is up nearly 11 percent. Actel, Lattice and QuickLogic are either flat or down (the word "consolidation" comes to mind).
ADI, TI and National are up 25, 14 and 7 percent respectively. Stocks trade on the future, not the present. Maybe the market knows something the forecasters don't. It wouldn't be the first time.