The four most followed indexes produced unlikely gains for the month of August. Typically the dog days of summer is seasonally weak for equities, but not this year. For the month of August, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed up 0.63%, the Nasdaq (chart) +4.34%, the S&P 500 (chart) +1.98% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) finished the month up 3.2%.
Stocks once again benefited by the Fed promising to take further steps to help boost the economy if needed. Speaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Ben Bernanke reiterated his concern over the state of the economy and that the central bank is prepared to act if warranted. So how will this mantra play out for the month of September?
September is typically one of the weakest months of the year for equities, however, could this month buck the trend just like August did? We should find out in short order with the release of the unemployment report next Friday. Talk about market and political implications! If the job market continues to deteriorate, you better believe this will become even more of a focal point as the election approaches. A further decay in the unemployment picture should also give the fed confirmation to further stimulate the economy. If this scenario plays out, one could surmise that the markets would continue to lift and that Mitt and Ann Romney may be soon moving to Pennsylvania Avenue.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend 🙂