Daily Investment Interpretations

December 9, 2010

2010-12-9 (Thursday Night): The markets dipped down and then closed up again today (with a selling climax into the close).   The NASDAQ Composite gained 7.51 points (0.29%) to 2,616.67. The Dow fell 2.42 points (-0.02%) to close at 11,370.06, and the S&P 500 popped  4.72 points (0.38%) to close at a new 2010 high: 1,233.00. Oil slipped down to $88.40 a barrel, and Gold ended at $1,387. The VIX crept down 0.44 to 17.30.    
    Mortgages hit 6-mo. highs  Typical 30-year, fixed-rate home mortgage rates have soared rapidly from 4.23% to 4.61%. The author observes that 4.61% is still a phenomenally low rate compared to "normal" home mortgage interest rates.
    Is a buying panic possible?  Marketwatch's Peter Brimelow suggests that as we approach the end of the year, the usual dressing-up of institutional portfolios may induce a year-end buying panic.
    House Democrats block vote on tax deal  
    House Democrats acting like angry drunks at bar  This article points out that Democrats have gotten much more than anyone expected by giving in on tax breaks for the wealthy and gaining $800 billion in a second round of fiscal stimulus.
    Weekly Jobless Claims Improve Slightly  
    Morning Thoughts: Hey Ben, How's That QE2 Working Out?  Interest rates are rising rather than falling, with the potential to slow down the recovery.
    Wholesale Inventories Above Expectations  This suggests a soon-to-come slowdown in production.
    With the stock market slowly moving up, it's probably time to talk again about recovery strategies. I'm trying to write abut this but it's a slow go, so in the meantime, here's a list of a few leading mutual funds with the best 10-year track records.
    The strategies I like best and am preparing to use myself involve Exchange-Traded index funds. I'll try to discuss them between now and Monday. But mutual funds are a passive way to invest, and with the "best-of-the-best" funds I'm linking above, it's probably safe to buy-and-hold.