Archive for November, 2009

Investors Still Nervous about Stock Market

According to this article from Investors Business Daily, investors are still very skeptical of the equities.  In September and October, for example, they pulled out $17 billion from stock market funds and directed the proceeds mainly into bond funds.  Year-to-date, $1.91 billion was pulled out of the stock funds.

From a contrarian perspective, this is great news.  This means that investors stayed skeptical all the way up during the current rally and chose to either sit on their cash or funnel it to “safe” bond funds (with interest rates near zero, I don’t think bond funds will be safe for long).

The wall of worry is still alive and well.

November 25, 2009 at 4:26 am Leave a comment

Job Growth by the End of the Year?

joblossAccording to this chart from US Department of Labor, monthly job losses continue to trend down.  If this continues, then overall job creation is likely by the end of the year.

It looks like this won’t be a jobless recovery.

November 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm 1 comment

Good News Continues, but Market Stalls

Good news on economy continue rolling along. Here’s a summary for the last week or so:

– Q3 GDP grew at 3.5%, so now the recession is finally officially over.
– Retail sales were better than expected.
– Auto manufactures, such as Ford, Nissan, Toyota reported (relatively) good results with sales higher than a year ago. Ford reported $1.8B profit. Apparently, it is still possible to make money in the auto business.
– Job cuts by employers are moderating, and unemployment claims are falling. In fact, more employers are planning to add jobs than ones planning to eliminate them.
– The housing market continues its recovery. Pending home sales rose by 6.1% and are now at its highest level in three years.
– Earnings reports continue upward trend of the last two quarters. Fully 80% of companies beat earnings estimates, which is a record.

Note that consumer spending and unemployment have been thorns in this recovery for quite some time. As you can see, now we are getting more and more positive news for both.

The market, in its infinite wisdom, decided to greet these news with a sell-off earlier this week, and continued high volatility later. One could argue that a consolidation is due after a rally we had, or this could be a case of “buy on rumor, sell on news”. In any event, markets can be quite irrational in the short term, but in the long term, it is the fundamentals and earnings that matter.

November 6, 2009 at 2:55 am Leave a comment

Blog Author

Leon Shirman's long-term investment philosophy is summarized in his book, “42 Rules for Sensible Investing”, also available from Amazon.


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