Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Market Thoughts

Yes, it’s a work from home day.  Does that mean I just watch the stock market in between pool time?  Lets keep that a secret.  But if one is watching CNBC today, one may want to drown their sorrows in something more than just a few drinks. It’s down right dismal on money tube!

The stock market is down well over a percent.  It’s been ugly all day.  Getting the blame?  Plunging home sales.

imageU.S. home sales plummeted in July as potential buyers stayed on the sidelines, spurring fears of renewed weakness in housing prices and the broader economy.

Sales of previously owned homes declined 27% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday, the lowest level since the industry group started its tally in 1999.

The expiration of a home-buyer tax credit in the spring was expected to damp buying, though less severely. The sales drop—together with a corresponding rise in the inventory of unsold homes—also means another leg down in housing prices is on the horizon, say economists.

Remember when folks’ biggest asset was their home?  Well, maybe that’s not the case anymore.  Gee, shoulda-coulda rented, eh?  Maybe that’s what folks are doing now.

No wage growth, either.  Maybe folks face a job loss.  Lots of reasons to be melancholy.  Then, they read in the headlines that the state government is in big debt and shutting down offices and firing teachers.

I’m going to keep saying this, but I do believe this is just a summertime and mid-term election correction.  There’s always a reason du jour.  The economy has turned, but it just hasn’t show in employment numbers. 

There are many reasons employers have yet to rehire.  They just finished firing people, for goodness sakes.  They may want to work folks overtime and wait and see if the numbers continue to improve over a few quarters.

I remain with a bunch of cash on the sidelines, but it is getting tempting to dip a toe in the waters.  Especially as we close in on the July lows.  Just being patient for now.

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