Stock Market’s Worst August Ever
Ten days ago I said that investing one’s money takes confidence. It seems I was more accurate on that point than ever, as August 2010 turns out to be the worst August since 2001, and that was days before what happened to the World Trade Center.
The Dow dropped 4.3% in August, including dipping under the magic 10,000 number a few times. It’s ending the month around 10,014, but there are big questions as to whether it’s going to stay there. Negative job reports on unemployment, housing reports, and the slow growth of the economy has many of these high powered brokers and their companies scared, and it’s probably scaring the regular investor as well. The Federal Reserve has changed its forecast of recovery and reduced expectation, and there’s even been some talk about lowering interest rates even further, although I not only don’t think that will happen, but I’m not sure it should happen.
Frankly, I’m wondering what’s about to happen as kids get ready to go back to school. Often a time when the retail market gets a nice little boost, it’s possible that things will be drastically different this year, which could continue the slide of the market if retail stores don’t hit traditional numbers that are often expected by early October. Many communities around the country have reduced the number of teachers and canceled programs of study, so those students won’t need supplies or books for those classes. Here in New York, they’ve eliminated the no-tax on clothing, thus parents may not be shelling out as much money as they have in the past for clothes, or looking for more discount clothes, and my bet is that New York won’t be alone. Oh yeah, there are also fewer kids, so more schools are being closed as well.
I haven’t read about their being a rush to get college students laptops for school this season, and if the iPad can handle a lot of what students need (I don’t know the iPad all that well) then traditional computing will be in trouble, as it’s been predicted to occur by technology researcher Gartner.
It certainly doesn’t have the feel of a confidently growing economy, does it?