OK, just how does this happen? Only a few weeks ago, it finally looked like the stock market was going to elevate itself above where it was on Inauguration Day, 2001. I mean, it was this close of shooting past that mark in the mid 11-thousands and finally getting into the general black. I even had something written up in the "well, its about time" category.
And yet it has fumbled, stumbled, bumbled and tumbled, and now is heading its way back towards the mind-10,000s where it has spent much of the past four years.
Now, as national economic indicators go, the DOW is not the best in the world, all the moreso since there is a definite chasm between Wall Street and Main Street these days. But it has this nostalgic feel to me, like paying off that car loan. Yeah, you've wracked up a ton of debt since then, but just getting rid of that one payment gives you a feeling of forward progress, that things are going to get better. Instead, its like you're still paying for the car and the engine starts making this little ping noice that you've never heard before. And then the engine light comes on. It's a bit of a let-down.
The fall has been so sudden and so far that even the business pages, who were ready to declare the next great bull market was upon us as we neared the magic number, suddenly got glum and non-communitive. With the exception of FOX, who is saying the down market is because we haven't attacked Iran yet (because the LAST two wars were such money-makers), most of them have been in a very cautious mode, careful not to say anything too troubling, in case Tinkerbell comes back to life and the stock market starts rolling again.
And the stock market will come up again. You can only keep it down (or bumbling along) for so long. Businesses adapt to new climates, even ones of uncertainty, corporate malfeasance, overly honest bureaucrats, and weak economic policy. Things will recover, but not at a rate that anyone is particularly happy about.
In the meantime - Ping.
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