Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Stocks Bounce Back, Set To Continue Gains

After posting losses the first two trading days of March, stocks opened the new week with fresh gains, nearly erasing the red ink for the month. The Dow is still down more than 150 points for the month and much more than that from all-time highs (January 26 is looking smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror), but stocks are poised to push higher on Tuesday on good news from the Korean Peninsula.

Talks between the North and South are apparently proceeding well, with the North - according to published reports - willing to denuclearize if the US and its allies can ensure its safety. The thought of nuking North Korea, being more of a paranoid construct in the mind of leader, Kim Jong-un, than any substantive reality, should not be a major obstacle should talks continue apace.

If the North and South states do eventually settle their differences, it would amount to nothing less than a complete coup for President Trump and his negotiating team, which has talked alternatively tough and sensible to the North Koreans. Resolution of the 65-year-old standoff would seem to be positive for all parties, depending on the terms of any definitive pact.

A re-emergence of North Korea into the union of so-called civilized nations might also pave the way for other countries, such as Ukraine and Iran, to proceed with normalization of policies, taking a step back from the brink of war or annihilation, nuclear or otherwise.

Dow Jones Industrial Average March Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
3/1/18 24,608.98 -420.22 -420.22
3/2/18 24,538.06 -70.92 -491.14
3/5/18 24,874.76 +336.70 -154.44

At the Close, Monday, March 5, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,874.76, +336.70 (+1.37%)
NASDAQ: 7,330.70, +72.84 (+1.00%)
S&P 500: 2,720.94, +29.69 (+1.10%)
NYSE Composite: 12,680.73, +122.74 (+0.98%)
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