Weekly Wrap-up

Despite last week’s overall gains, it sure didn’t feel like a bullish week in the markets. The Dow gained 4.7%, the Nasdaq gained 3.7 and the S&P 500 gained 4.6%. I guess the fact that the Dow is now down 33.3% for the year with the Nasdaq slightly ahead of that pace at 35.5% while the S&P 500 leads the trek lower with a 35.9% loss for the year. Fundamentals, along with technical levels, for the most part have been cast aside while fear rules the markets.

Today is the anniversary of the 1987 stock market crash known as “Black Monday.” On that date, the Dow fell a record 22.6 % — its largest one-day percentage decline ever. I doubt that we will have a crash like that now, but we are in the midst of a recession (despite not fitting the statistical definition). With all the earnings that are coming out in the near future, that’s where we will be able to get an idea of how deep and long the recession will be.

On Monday, September’s index of leading U.S. economic indicators will kick off a relatively light week for economic data. On Wednesday we get the crude oil inventories and with the recent downward spiral it will be influential data. Thursday’s weekly jobless claims for benefits and Friday’s report on September U.S. existing home sales will be scrutinized for signs of further weakness in both the housing and job markets.