24 October, 2008

Global Market Fears Return Friday, Sell-Off Continues

Corporate Earnings results have trended towards the "not too bad" and "above lowered expectations" columns more times than not this quarter, however the expectations game and fears of a drastic 4th quarter slow down have stocks reeling worldwide. From Europe to Japan, the sentiment this morning was profoundly negative, causing a halt in Dow futures trading as contracts dropped significantly in the early-hours.

At the open, American markets led off with a 500 point drop in the Dow, and while some Traders have bought off the bottom the morning is still holding to about a 400 point decline, roughly 4.5%.

Major corporations have been forced to plan layoffs, amongst other cost-cutting ideas, to not only shore up business capital but to provide Wall Street investors with any-type of strategic plan to try to hold down sellers. More recently it was Yahoo (YHOO) and Goldman Sachs (GS) announcing a round of firings.

As all the headlines surrounding the markets paint the gloomiest of pictures, it should be a time to make the sideline Investor think of potential opportunities. But this is one of the types of attitudes that has not worked recently. The Dow continues its slide and has dropped to 10,000....9,500....9,000.. down to its current levels of 8300. As this credit and financial crisis has expanded, it's become abundantly clear that its effects have been and are worse than anyone in the economic field imagined. The fear of the typical market participant and consumer are at all-time highs. A feeling confirmed by action in metrics such as the Volatility Index.

As the US approaches the Federal Election, perhaps the hope of a change in policy will divert the economic fears enough to showcase a plan of action and a call for change. While Barack Obama continues to lead in most polls, running on a platform of change, John McCain still finds himself within striking distance as the race closes in on Election Day. Americans will determine on November 4th who will lead them away from these economic fears and into a future of change and prosperity.

The resolution of some uncertainty and a Call to Action from a newly elected President could be the catalyst the market needs going into the finale of a rough, tumble and volatile trading year.

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