Market Beat: With August in rear-view mirror, what might September hold?
TAHOE/TRUCKEE andamp;#8212; August 2011 saw the worst month in 10 years for the stock market. The price return for the SPY, the ETF that tracks the Sandamp;P 500, was -6.59 percent. That was the weakest August since 2001.In August the US economy created no jobs. That was the first time since World War II that the economy has created precisely zero net jobs for the month. The expectation was for net job growth of 75,000. The current employment recession is the worst of all post World War II recessions. The percent job losses have been more severe and the recovery much flatter than prior recessions.Treasury yields have continued to decline. On August 18, the 10-year yield fell to a low of 1.974 percent, which is the lowest level in at least 50 years. In recent trading, the benchmark 10-year was yielding 2.024 percent. The ETF for intermediate term treasuries, the TLT posted a monthly price return for August of 9.90 percent.Precious metals put up another strong month with the gold ETF, GLD, up 12.86 percent and silver, SLV, up 5.88 percent.Looking ahead all eyes are on Bernanke and Obamaandamp;#8217;s stimulus speech, which took place Thursday. President Obama was scheduled to announce a jobs plan on the 8th, and the next FOMC meeting is on the 20th.At his annual Jackson Hole speech in August, where he announced QE2 last year, Bernanke kicked the can down the road to the September FOMC meeting. He did acknowledge that they would be discussing a wide range of easing options and that they had many tolls at their disposal.The market has seen days where it rallies on bad news and sell off on good news. This phenomenon is referred to as the andamp;#8220;Bernanke Put.andamp;#8221; What it means is that if we get poor economic data it increase the odds of another round of quantitative easing or QE, but if the reports are good it decreases the chance of more stimulus.One thing you can be sure of is that market participants will be closely monitoring both Obamaandamp;#8217;s stimulus announcement and the minutes of the September FOMC meeting.andamp;#8212; Kenneth Roberts, a Truckee-based Registered Investment Advisor, has been in the securities business since 1992, has worked as a branch manager for a major Wall Street firm and is currently a portfolio manager for Fusion Asset Management who specializes in target retirement and income producing portfolios. Information on his money management service can be found at http://www.fusiontargetretirement.com or by calling 775-675-8065. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial adviser before purchasing any security.
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