December 2008 - AIA Advocate for Absolute Returns

The AIA "Advocate For Absolute Returns", an on-line publication of The Association for Investor Awareness, Inc., tracks market trends, industry news, the SEC, global trade and finance and Washington developments for you because they affect your investments. But who doesn't? Many sources simply report these issues as abstract facts.

We feel that's not enough. The AIA Advocate's job is to warn you of what's important and how these developments translate to ground-level forces and threats that directly affect your wealth as well as your current investment opportunities. Not just information, but information you can use. Until next time…

  • Association for Investor Awareness - Week of 12/18/2008

    In This Issue:

    The Economy Is Bad, But Stocks Are Priced For Worse
    Stocks Outshine Their Competition
    Behold The Halo Effect
    A January Bounce Seems Likely
    Energy And Foreign Growth Are Positives
    We May Be Halfway Through The Economic Downturn
    What Everybody Knows...
    The Bottom Line This Week

    Last week we received additional signals that a bear rally is probably in the works. During the five day period, investors were treated to a smorgasbord of bad news. Congress turned thumbs down on bailing out the Big Three automakers. Unemployment surged to a 26 year high. T-Bill returns dropped to essentially zero. Many bellwether companies issued earnings warnings. Several firms cut their dividends, and investors were shocked by a $50 billion hedge fund collapse.

    So what did the market do? It barely budged. The Dow eased down less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq actually rose 2.1%. The market was also strong during the first three days of the current week. In our opinion, such resilience in the face of disturbing economic events indicates that investors are probably getting ready to do some buying.

  • Association for Investor Awareness - Week of 12/11/2008

    In This Issue:

    The Long-Awaited Bear Rally May Be Starting
    Although Weak, Some Hopeful Economic Signs Are Emerging
    Credit Is Slowly Opening Up Again
    If Fear Subsides, The Outlook Will Improve Immediately
    A Recovery Will Bring Unwelcome Inflation
    The Bottom Line This Week

    As we reported in our previous issue, the sharp stock market advance over the Thanksgiving holiday came to a crashing end on December 1. However, prices have been stronger since then. Although the gains weren't enough to fully erase the earlier plunge, the Dow and the Nasdaq managed to end last week down just 2.2% and 1.7% respectively. From Monday to Wednesday of the current week, the market managed to make some additional gains.

    It's significant that the price increases occurred while more bad economic news was breaking. A manufacturing decline, an auto sales plunge, and more job losses should have pushed stocks down several more notches. The fact that investors largely ignored the negatives may indicate that the bear market is close to a bottom.

  • Association for Investor Awareness - Week of 12/04/2008

    In This Issue

    Black Friday May Suggest A More Optimistic Outlook
    Most Insiders Are Not Selling
    Bear Market History: How We Compare
    Get Paid While You Wait
    The Bottom Line This Week

    Last week when everyone was stuffing themselves with turkey and other goodies, the urge to consume in abundance spilled over to Wall Street. By the time the market closed on Friday, the Dow and the Nasdaq were up an impressive 9.7% and 10.9% respectively. It was the first five day rally we've seen in over a year.

    The enthusiasm for stocks wasn't completely due to holiday cheer. Investors got wind of the fact that Black Friday sales were likely to be better than was first expected. As it turned out, instead of a miniscule 0.9% sales increase, Joe and Sally MidAmerica gave the retail industry a 3% boost. Shoppers were so eager to spend money, they trampled several people who got in their way, one of whom died.

    As we are sure you know by now, the enthusiasm didn't survive the weekend. The terrorist attack in Mumbai plus a dismal economic report sent the market down 680 points on Monday. Stocks recovered 442 points on Tuesday and Wednesday but the rebound seems unlikely to last very long.