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Earnings Season Boost on Tap as Beer Sales Lag, FAANGs Falter

Markets tend to obsess over one thing — and only one thing — at a time. Right now, surging Treasury yields are in control.

I’m allergic to wasting time.

Can’t understand folks who watch movies on airplanes. Flying home from Montreal a few weeks ago, the air hostess asked, “Are you still working?” Of course. What else can you do when you’re stuck in a metal tube in the sky?!

So you can imagine the torture I just endured when I spent four hours standing in line at the U.S. Embassy here in Dublin.

All good. I got my new documents, and this Irishman will be in the Boston area next month if anyone is down to meet.

I also got a few useful ideas from my stint in purgatory, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

First, let’s talk about what’s going on in the markets.

1. This will send stocks soaring higher.

Stocks got trashed over the past month, and the selling looks set to continue as I write this.

Let’s talk about why it’s happening and what to do about it.

Interest rates are breaking out to new 16-year highs, which is spooking investors. I don’t share these fears because stocks typically go up during these periods.

Markets tend to obsess over one thing — and only one thing — at a time. Right now, surging Treasury yields are in control.

For the selling to stop, the market needs a new obsession. That “new shiny thing” is right around the corner.

S&P 500 companies start reporting earnings in mid-October. I’m expecting this earnings season to be “strong to quite strong,” as Greg Focker would say.

Analysts have been revising estimates upward much faster than usual — a reliable sign lots of companies should blow them out of the water.

Earnings season shifts into high gear next Friday when the big banks report. If they’re solid, watch sentiment flip on a dime!

Remember, the kinds of businesses you want to own when rates are rising are those that can grow their earnings year after year, no matter what. That’s what my colleague Chris Wood and I are focused on in our flagship advisory, Disruption Investor.

As an aside, I think rates might be peaking. Every podcast ad is trying to sell me U.S. Treasury bonds. There’s an important lesson here.

Usually when people can’t shut up about something, the trend is nearing an end.

2. Why I’m not buying the dip in FAANG stocks.

You want to know my top investing warning for the next five years?

Avoid FAANG stocks.

This headline recently flashed across my desk: Apple Gets Downgraded by KeyBanc, Believing Valuation Near All-Time High.

I’m with the Wall Street bankers on this one. I think Apple AAPL  and its fellow FAANGs could be dead money for years.

For the past decade, Facebook… Apple… Amazon… Netflix… and Google were “must-own” stocks.

Remember The Far Side? The comic strip ran for years in The New York Times. My all-time favorite Far Side cartoon is “Situation’s changed, Jules…”

Source: Gary Larson

The situation for FAANG stocks has certainly changed, friends. They’re no longer the fast-growing disruptors we once knew.

Here’s a list of boring old companies that grew faster than every FAANG last quarter:

United Health UNH … Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A … JPMorgan Chase JPM … PepsiCo PEP … Union Pacific UNP … and Caterpillar CAT .

That’s right, a 160-year-old railroad (Union Pacific) grew faster than Apple and Google GOOG .

Investors were repeatedly rewarded for buying the dip in these stocks over the past few years. But the situation has changed.

FAANG is old news. The big bucks will be made investing in up-and-coming disruptors.

3. Are you investing in this $200 billion/year megatrend?

Outside the U.S. Embassy, I got talking to a kid who just graduated construction engineering and was moving to New York.

His boss told him: “You’ll be building data centers for the rest of your career.”

Data centers are giant warehouses packed full of thousands of giant supercomputers. Every time you stream movies on Netflix, scroll through Facebook, or watch YouTube… you’re connecting to a data center.

People like to get on their high horse about “digital detoxes” and disconnecting from the web. I agree putting the phone down — especially around your kids — is important.

But the reality is we’re all internet junkies and our time spent online is only going one way: UP.

More time spent online = more data centers. We’re already spending $200 billion/year building them.

A fast-growing trend with long legs: That’s our bread and butter.

Investing in businesses that own data centers like Equinix EQIX  and Digital Realty Trust DLR  is one way to profit from this trend. But those stocks look awful right now, and I wouldn’t nibble until they bottom out.

Another way is to invest in companies that sell chips and servers that go into these data centers.

4. Be a contrarian… drink some wine.

Since it’s Friday, I thought I’d include this fun chart I saw on Twitter (follow me here).

It shows the market share of alcoholic beverages in the U.S.:

Source: Morgan Stanley

Beer (blue line) is in a bear market.

Real men drink wine (green line), which seems to have a small but loyal base. Me included!

Tomorrow night, I’ll be corking this bottle my wife and I brought home from our Tuscany trip. If you’re ever in Bolgheri, you must tour the vineyard Campo Alla Sughera.

A weekly five-point roundup of critical events in the energy transition and the implications of climate change for business and finance.