Monday, January 29, 2007

Cartoon Tuesday

By R.J. Matson, The New York Observer and Roll Call

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.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cartoon Tuesday

Mike Lester, Rome News-Tribune, Rome, GA

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The week in review

  • DJIA gained 158.07 points this week, 1.27% to 12,556.08.
  • S and P 500 rose 1.49%, 21.02 points and closed Friday at 1430.73.
  • Crude oil got slammed another $3.32/bbl, 5.90% to $52.99. (Gas stations are a little slower to change their prices on the way down, aren't they?)
The big gainers this week included Apple (AAPL) amid all the buzz over its new products, Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Google (GOOG) which surpassed the $500 mark.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The week in review

  • DJIA sank 65.14 points this week (-82.68 on Friday), 0.52% to 12,398.01.
  • Nasdaq Composite was a different story, up 18.96, 0.78% and closed Friday at 2434.25.
  • Crude oil dropped a whopping $4.74, 7.76% to $56.31.
The first week of the new year got off to a pretty rocky start as the broad market lost ground after a robust jobs report on Friday.

This is the part of economics that really has casual stock market observers scratching their heads--167,000 new jobs were created in December and that caused the Dow to drop 83 points? Huh? Why is such great news bad for stocks?

Remember the old rhyme, when rates are low, stocks will grow? Well, job creation that is too rapid is indicative of an economy that is growing too fast and that inflationary risks are present. To curb those risks the Fed raises interest rates. When rates are high, stocks will die.

At least the market has found something to obsess about besides oil.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cartoon Tuesday

By Gary Varvel, The Indianapolis Star-News