March 8, 2010
Every day lately it has been lighter as I leave for work, with hints of an orange sunrise in the east. Today should be sunny with a high in the 40's; a beautiful early spring day in Rochester. A year ago today it was in the 30's with clouds and light rain - and weather wasn't the worst of it. Exactly a year ago the US stock market hit bottom, with the S&P 500 at 666 after an 18-month-long slide that saw stocks drop 57%. Investors wanted little beyond US Treasury securities, and even seasoned experts were uncertain how to advise investors. And today? We will see the NY Stock Exchange open with the S&P 500 at 1138, up nearly 71% from that year-ago low. Interest rates remain at historic lows, consumers have crept out of their bunker, even Ford Motor Company is seeing a sales surge. Most Americans are feeling more confident about their financial future than they were a year ago. Our economy is not back to full recovery: unemployment remains stubbornly high and some sectors of the country have yet to digest their outsized real estate problems.
Despite those clouds, the sky will be mostly blue today. Investors have been spared the worst of last year's fears, and the economy, while bruised, has not collapsed. I feel much better than I did a year ago.
(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).