The financial markets have been relatively calm during the past week or so. Even though stocks in the S&P 500 Index broke out to new highs intraday on Monday, there hasn’t been much real trading volume pushing the market in either direction.
So far in 2014, the broad-based measure of large-cap domestic stocks is just slightly in the green. Even after the big down month in January, and the subsequent rebound in February, we are right about where we were at the beginning of the year.
I’m actually welcoming the calm here in stocks, as I think the pendulum swung a bit too much in both directions so far this year. Of course, we are liable to see many more big swings in the markets this year, especially if the economic data continues to come in mixed. We are going to get several data reports next week, including the all-important jobs report next Friday, so until then I expect the calm mood to continue.
Things have been anything but calm in the commodities space, where a big move higher has taken place this year. The chart here of the DB Commodities Tracking Index Fund (DBC) shows the big spike higher since the beginning of February.
This secular trend higher in commodities is something we’ve been taking advantage of in our Successful Investing advisory service. If you’d like to take advantage of this trend, and other profitable trends just like it, then I invite you to check it out right now.
Still Mad at the Banks
It has been more than five years since the 2008 financial crisis and the bailout of some of the biggest Wall Street banks, but that situation doesn’t mean Americans still aren’t mad as hell about it.
According to a recent survey titled the Consumer Banking Insights Study, nearly eight in 10 Americans (78%) still think that big banks are to blame for the financial crisis. Moreover, the survey revealed that two-thirds of respondents were still angry at the big banks for the crisis. And in another interesting finding, nearly half of Americans (49%) said that it was important to do business with local banks.
The study, conducted online by Harris Poll in December 2013, included more than 1,000 U.S. adults and was commissioned by more than 200 community banks and credit unions in partnership with financial firm Kasasa.
The same study also revealed that roughly seven in 10 Americans (71%) believe that the big banks have yet to make up for their role in the financial crisis.
Conclusion — we’re still mad at the banks. And, judging by the rise of the Tea Party and other anti-bailout movements, we’re also still mad at the other culprits in the bailout debacle, the federal government.
“Make no more laws than those useful for preventing a man or body of men from infringing on the rights of other men.”
The great poet is full of beautifully written wisdom, but perhaps none as beautiful as this libertarian-like reminder about the role, and limits, of government.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote you’d like me to share with your fellow Making Money Alert readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Ask Doug.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week about why commodities are rebounding in 2014. I also invite you to share your thoughts below.