October was a month of roller coaster rides for the economy and the markets. Investors and speculators are spooked along with the US population and politicians and lawmakers. Everyone jumps on every drop of news, the markets and the new are reactionary.
Towards the end of the month earnings reports were generally better than expected, as has been the case all week, but overall broad market participants appeared uninspired by them. The markets though did react to the continued good news soaring to record breaking levels.
The online and television news all heralded an improving economy.
Everyone was smiling and proclaiming the end of the recession, politicians were promising jobs, retailers were excited about the holiday sales and banks were loosening their lending.
Remember, when you were a kid and your sister or brother would tickle you until you lost your breath. Then for the next few minutes every time they put their hands towards you, you instantly started laughing again. Over and over they would tease you, until you finally got upset and instead of laughing yelled at them to stop.
Today investors are at the stage that every time you put out your hand they react, but the consumer is at the point when they are losing their temper.
Everyone hinges on every bit of news, every report, and every headline.
The fact remains, until we create more jobs, reduce foreclosures and steady the housing market, all this data is useless.
The people on the streets, the average American will no longer before corporate or political America when the economy is improving. When their neighbors are going back to work, when the houses on the street are being sold, when their friends want to go shopping, when relatives are back on their feet , that is when the economy will be improving.
It is the consumers of America that will start the ball rolling, not corporate earnings, not new programs and policies.. When John Q Public thinks and believes that things are better, that is when our economy will begin to improve.
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Barry Norman is a contributor to and blogger at firstcredit.net. For over ten years FirstCredit.net has provided consumers free information helping them make sense of credit cards and the financial industry. Whether you are a longtime cardholder or looking for your first credit card, FirstCredit.net can help you make informed decisions.
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