Monday, March 26, 2007

Mod Market: Updating...

"Cars and girls are easy come by in this day and age,
Laughing, joking, drinking, smoking,
Till I've spent my wage."

-- The Yardbirds, Over, Under, Sideways, Down, 1966

The year was 1966. Gasoline was 35¢ a gallon. A new car would set you back around $1500. The Dow was trading in triple digits. The British rock invasion was well underway. Life was good; you could spend your paycheck on booze, cigarettes and loose women and not worry about next week.

How times change. Gas and cars are now 8-12 times more expensive. $1000 invested in the Dow in 1966 would be worth $18,000 today. No wonder we're not all millionaires. While the Dow and stocks in general have outpaced inflation, they barely did so. Which brings us to Friday's close...

Dow 12, 481.01 +19.87; NASDAQ 2,456.18 +4.44; S&P 500 1,436.11 +1.57; NYSE Composite 9,338.40 +24.58

The major indices showed nifty gains for the week, though they're still below the mid-February highs. It's the way this market has been for over a month now, a corrective phase that's yet to play out fully. Friday's volume was the weakest of the week, underscoring the relatively tame gains. Traders are still uncertain of the direction here and skeptical of future gains.

Somewhat depressing for traders - and everyone else for that matter - is the continuing high price of gasoline at the pump, and the recent one-day spike (from $56 to over $60) when the crude oil futures turned over from April to May. Apparently, those controlling the price of oil are afraid that Global Warming will kill us all, and are trying to beat the environment to the punch.

This market continues to bounce around: over, under, sideways, but mostly, down.

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