Although stocks were mostly lower on the week, the month of September produced rare gains for the benchmark indexes. For the month of September, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) gained 2.65%, the Nasdaq (chart) +1.61%, the S&P 500 (chart) +2.42% and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the month up 2.12%. This capped a very impressive third quarter for equities with all of these key indices advancing sharply higher.
So now the encore! What promises to be an event driven final stretch of the year, investors can look forward to Q3 earnings reporting season in October and of course the Presidential and congressional elections in November. Not to mention the ongoing saga in Europe, the seemingly everlasting middle east crisis, and whether or not our country will face the “fiscal cliff” outcome which could spin our economy into a recession?
So as you can see stocks and bonds are certainly exposed to an enormous amount of uncertainty in the final quarter of the year. Typically when markets are in such a quandary, much higher volatility usually ensues. In any market environment and especially the one we are heading into, it is always best to use protective stops and or protection in the form of puts if you have a long portfolio. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to consult with a professional investment advisor before implementing any type of strategy. Good luck to all.
Have a great weekend 🙂