You know what they say about things that sound too good to be true: they probably are.
In recent days, the trouble experienced by many in the economy, from the average American to institutional investors, can best be seen in the persistent drubbings being taken by many large cap stocks, or “blue chips.” Once thought by many industry insiders to be the market’s equivalent of the “smartest guys in the room” because of their long-term growth potential and seemingly indefatigable ability to surmount the most treacherous economic headwinds, some of the U.S.’s largest companies (as expressed by the Dow Jones Industrial Average) have shown that even the most stalwart companies have had to take their medicine.
While the Dow rallied today, closing up 44.73 points, or 0.40 percent, the picture for the index is a lot less rosy if you look back over its trajectory since the year began. Indeed, for the last six month’s, the Dow has taken a -5.68 percent tumble.
And if you think it’s just the U.S.’s biggest and baddest feeling the heat, think again.
Indeed, this Monday saw both London’s blue-chips down 1.6pc and Tokyo’s “first section”—Japan’s version of blue chips—down 3.73 points, or 1.82 percent. And in Mumbai, the Sensex, the Dow’s Indian equivalent, has begun experiencing spasms of its own, weighted down by concerns over the European debt crisis and skepticism about the U.S.’s resolve in getting it’s economy back on the rails, according to analysts.
According to Shanu Goel, Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio:
“Concerns over US economic growth led to negative sentiments. The measures proposed by Barack Obama failed to infuse confidence in global investors as they resorted to selling amid concerns of global recession.”
And the markets in Israel aren’t doing much better, as blue chips there fell to a two-year low, falling below 1,000 for the first time since 2009. Said Tamir Fishman portfolio manager Adi Stern:
“The market hates uncertainty and question marks. It isn’t a sweeping panic, but total turnover [in Tel Aviv] wasn’t low yesterday.”
Of course, all of this is not to say the roller coaster ride that even large caps stocks have seemingly become given the economic downturn isn’t ultimately worth the price of admission. It’s just that under the current circumstances (After all, who would have imagined Lehman and AIG would go kaput?) and taking into account the paranoid gyrations of the markets, it’s advisable that you pack some Dramamine and expect a few bumps along the way, no matter how supposedly blue the stock.