CNBC Analyst Wary of Health Care Stocks; Knocks Obama's 'Hand-Picked Audience'
As the likelihood of President Barack Obama's style of health care/health insurance reform has looked more and more uncertain, health care sector stocks have rallied, nearly 10 percent over the last month.
But now as Obama is showing some signs of managing his message and could be trying to make a comeback, even as polls show the odds aren't his favor, CNBC market analyst Steve Grasso is cautioning viewers to be wary of health care stocks for the time being.
"You know, one of my picks has been health care," Grasso said. "I'm a little shaky on it the longer this process goes on, I think the more we have to look at it. I mean, I caught a glimpse of President Obama speaking today. If they're clapping, that was a hand-picked audience. I have yet to find anyone who likes the plan. So I think health care is on waivers for me at this point."
Grasso wasn't the only one to make that observation about the Aug. 11 ObamaCare town hall audience in Portsmouth, N.H. As Michelle Malkin pointed out on her blog immediately following the event, Obama's "Kabuki theater" featured crowd chants of, "Yes, we can!" and a little girl lamenting "mean things" on protest signs.
Grasso, who is also the managing director of institutional trading at the trading and investment firm Stuart Frankel & Co., also noted the double standard that exists for liberals and conservatives on raising concerns over the health care issue.
"How come when a liberal speaks out against it, it's freedom of speech?" Grasso asked. "When a conservative speaks out against it, he's a nut?"
Grasso was alluding to the way the health care issue has sparked interest in recent weeks. Some members of Congress have had spirited interactions at town hall meetings with their constituents as many are starting question the merits of the federal government's efforts to "reform" health insurance.