Sunday, January 28, 2007

The week in review

  • DJIA lost 78.51 points this week, 0.62%% to 12,487.02.
  • S and P 500 was also in the red, it shed 8.32 points, 0.58% and closed Friday at 1422.18.
  • Crude oil regained a little of the ground it has lost in the last several weeks and was up $2.02, 3.78% to $55.42.
Every year market soothsayers fill January headlines with prognostications of every sort. Fortunately for them, no one keeps score since they are so rarely right.

But a common theme in many of this year's forecasts is more volatility for 2007 than last year and, while its still very early, those predictions so far ring true.

This week the Dow surged to its 26th record close in four months on Wednesday and abruptly turned around to dump 119 points the next day. It lost another 15.54 points Friday leaving the index little changed for the year.

What's the cause of this temperamental behavior? Simply, profits and interest rates, same as always. And while interest rates are still historically low and profits historically high, there is not as much confidence they will stay that way as there was last year. There's no clear indication which direction the Fed will move next and the momentum of corporate earnings has slowed. Throw in the housing market wild card and you have the perfect mix for a completely unpredictable market. Be prepared for more turbulence.

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