Monday, September 9, 2013

What you know can't hurt you (maybe)...

Hmm... Pretty good day for stocks (Dow up 140) on decent volume (i.e., a little more than merely a stubborn-seller phenomenon). The headlines had good data out of Japan and China, plus a potential out on the Syria situation (surrender your chemical weapons and maybe you won't get bombed), fueling today's rally. So, we're back to good news is good news, right? Right---for the moment anyway. So what's next?

Well, of course Syria is not nearly off the table as of yet, the Fed may taper back on QE next week, and the Kick-the-Can Superbowl (budget and debt ceiling) is scheduled for next month. Looking at the knowns, one would think the market ought to be taking its annual 10% snooze---at least!---right about now. But, strangely, that's not nearly what's happening (the Dow going from 15,600 to 14,700 is barely a catnap). Why? Because, as I've preached for years, it's generally not the knowns, or even the known-unknowns (we know that the Fed's going to taper, and we know that we don't know exactly when or by how much) that send the market reeling into double-digit declines. It's generally the unknown-unknowns (the 1987 Crash, Lehman, etc.) that inspire huge panicky selloffs create those real buying opportunities.

So relax, enjoy the coming fall (weather that is) and know that what you know (likely) won't hurt you give you that wonderful opportunity to rebalance your portfolio at much lower levels. But who knows (nobody of course)? Perhaps there is an unknown-unknown lurking around the ben(d). If so, let's pray it indeed involves Ben Bernanke, as opposed to missiles and loss of life.

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