Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Equities & Friday's Jobs Numbers

I was away for most of last week, having set two posts to auto-publish. The post for 31 August failed, per Blogger's frequent problems with scheduled posts, so I manually published it this morning.

When I began to clear my inbox over the weekend, I noted the precipitous fall in the S&P500 on Friday after fairly uneventful days from Tuesday through Thursday. Guessing I'd read of some significant event or news for that day, I was not surprised in the least to learn of the jobs report showing no net employment increase for August. The net result for the S&P for last week was to end essentially flat.

Happily, when I checked the values of the equity portfolios selected by my proprietary quantitative process, I saw that they continue to average more than 10 percentage points of total return above the S&P returns for the respective matching timeframes. For 2011, at Friday's close, the index had lost 6.65%. As of late morning today, it's lost more than an additional 2%.

The pundits and co-anchors on CNBC and Bloomberg all have 'this might be a rerun of 2008' looks on their faces and distress in the tones of their voices. Finally, after many months of administration attempts to make mountains out of pathetically weak economic data, said data is looking decidedly worse, and these financial news network on-air staff can't hide it anymore.

Between continued investor nervousness about European debt problems, and their hyper-sensitivity to bad US economic data, it probably won't take much non-good news during September to drive equity markets down even further.

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