Market Plays 20 Questions
Most of the headlines lately have been consumed with stories unrelated to business or the markets. Though many are still focused on the tragedy in Tucson, we will try out best to stick to relevant subject matter that relates to investing and economics.
Since the New Year many investments - stocks and gold, for example - have paused in their upward rally. The question is whether this is a pause that will refresh the market before it moves higher, or if it is the top before the decline.
There has been widespread anticipation among investors and pundits that stocks are overvalued and are set for decline. What we continually ask ourselves is whether such a widely predicted decline ever develops.
The pause in gold, on the other hand, is widely thought to be simply a delay in the rally as the price heads to $6,000 per ounce and beyond. In fact, vending machines that dispense gold have been popping up lately in affluent communities like Boca Raton and gambling hubs such as Las Vegas.
Of the few business-related headlines, many have focused on the housing industry amid speculation that builders are in the midst of a major recovery. Though we know the real estate industry is starting to see turnover, we have yet to see whether builders can recover amid lower home prices as buyers rely less on debt.
Since January 1st we have seen the entrance of the new Congress, which has already been accompanied by a rebound in the legislature's job approval rating (according to Gallup).
Though the new Congress is hardly a week old, already there has been a palpable shift in the business climate of the country as legislators have begun talking about pro-business legislation. Chief executives of major corporations have paid visit to the White House, not to listen to plans from Obama, but to offer ideas that might foster economic growth and create new jobs.
At this point all we can do is wait to see whether this shift in policy continues; and hope that it will have a positive impact and keep this country going on the its road to recovery.
In the wake of the tragic shooting in Arizona, much has been said about the heated political debate that has permeated this country in recent years. Some have gone so far as to say that free speech should be restricted to less offensive language.
Though it might seem hard to see in troubling times, people can rest assured that the system IS working. Were it not for fervent debate, our country would never have been born from insurrection and revolution, let alone become the wonderful nation it is today.
No one knows what the future holds; what policies will be pursued in Washington or to what end, much less whether another tragedy will strike. All we can trust is that the business and political leaders of our nation are doing the best they can with the information they have, and that we will endure. We will persevere; and we will see good times again.