Now raising intellectual capital
Jack Healy’s story in The New York Times about the Dow getting closer and closer to the magical 10,000 mark is OK, but it contains few surprises. But I really was blown away by the chart that shows the perfomance of Dow component stocks since March 29, 1999–when the index crossed 10,000 for the first time.
The chart, which includes a number of stocks that are no longer part of the Dow–such as AIG, Citigroup and Eastman Kodak–is interesting because more component stocks have lost ground over the past 10 years than posted gains.
The list of losers that are still part of the Dow include a broad swath of US industries. Some of the stocks that have lost ground in the decade since the Dow first hit 10,000 include American Express, Walt Disney, Cisco, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and Home Depot.
This long list of illustrious losers should be a sober reminder for the bulls prediciting an ecomonic rebound simply because the stock market is rising.
Don’t blame global stock markets for being skittish. It is August, after all, a month that has spelled trouble in the past two years.
Recall that, a year ago, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started wobbling at the precipice while AIG, desperate for cash, began paying junk-like yields in the corporate bond market. A month later, all hell broke loose.
Stocks, for little over a week, have been stuck in neutral.
On June 4, the Dow Jones closed at 8,750. And with a little less then two hours to go in the current trading week, the Dow was trading at 8,759. Come on, we can do it. All we need is to drop another 9 points.
That said, it’s not as if there’s been no news over the past 8 days. Last Friday we had the mixed bag unemployment report. On Tuesday, Treasury announced that 10 banks would be able to payback $68 billion in federal bailout money. And today came news that consumer confidence rose to its highest level in nine months.