Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Blah Month-End Closing!

Yes, once again, today was another month-end downer for the stock markets. But wait, it was an up month! I sometimes wonder why we bother looking at the indexes and the stock market at all. The level of volatility seems extreme and belies the value of the stocks that are being traded. In any event, today the S&P 500 dropped 2.47%, which is hard to take but is likely a reaction to the exuberance on Thursday when the market took off on the “good news” from Europe. I always think, “Do everything in moderation.” On the good side, we saw the S&P 500 rise 10.8% for the month of October. When you get your monthly statements, they should feel warm and fuzzy compared to the end of September, when they just seemed totally fuzzy! Earnings results are coming in better than I expected and the economy is certainly doing better. In the first quarter, GDP was up 0.5%. In the second quarter it increased to 1.3%. With this past August being a total wipeout , I was hoping to see the 1.3% revisited in the third quarter. Instead, GDP was up 2.5%. That is amazing! Manufacturing in September was up a stunning 4% and an economy that was expected to add no new jobs added 103,000. Unless all of this is bogus, the U.S. economy continues to get stronger. Not a bad place to be at this time! Ed Mallon