There was nothing easy about the final day of August yesterday as the major indexes continued their struggles. At the end of the day, we ended up just about unchanged after again bouncing off the S&P;’s 1,040 level.
Now we are staring September in the face, a month that has historically not been kind to equities but has been a delight for the bearish crowd. In fact, during the past 32 years, the Dow has fallen in 21 of them, which makes this a period of the year many investors prefer to forget.
As has been the case all week, volume was light and moves in either direction can easily be exaggerated. Still, fear and skepticism about the recovery running out of steam prevailed not just here in the U.S. but worldwide.
It’s no surprise that gold jumped as it tends to do during times of uncertainty, while oil dropped for exactly opposite reasons as economic worries remained a major concern. Even the Fed minutes showed some divisions among policy makers as to what the Fed can and should do to apply boosters to a sliding economy.
More economic reports are on the agenda every day this week with the highlight being Friday’s unemployment numbers.