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Thank God for the Tea Party and “Occupy Wall Street”

11/15/2011

Yesterday, the Dow dropped about 76 points.  The futures market suggests it will lose another 70 points this morning, following the pattern of Europe, where Germany and France are both down about 2%. 

It is easy to think the world is just waiting to hit the SELL button as soon as the market opens.  Actually, there are very few active players in the market now, mostly the automated high-frequency traders that I distrust.  The total trading volumes are remarkably low.  This is the primary reason the markets have been so volatile recently.

Most human investors are sitting on a large amount of cash right now.  Many of us can predict the economy reasonably well, but nobody can predict the next breaking headline out of Europe.  As the economy matters again and as earnings matter again, I’ll reduce the cash levels.

Frankly, I think Wall Street is more interested in “Occupy Wall Street” than Wall Street right now.  I have not seen the resentment against the demonstrators that I expected on Wall Street but cannot explain it.  They were also indifferent to the Tea Party demonstrations as well.  Perhaps, both have entertainment value when the stock market is too volatile to trade prudently.

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