Take Me Out to the Stock Game
Major League Baseball playoffs just started, and the struggling U.S. economy is also trying to score some more wins to make the postseason, as well. In 2008 and early 2009, the stock market looked more like The Bad News Bears, with the S&P 500 index losing 58 percent of its value from the peak to the trough. The over-leveraged (debt-laden) financial system, banged by a speculative housing bubble, swung the global economy into recession and put a large part of the economic team onto the disabled list.
Since the lows of 2009, S&P 500 stocks have skyrocketed 152 percent, including an 18 percent gain in 2013 and a 3 percent jump in September alone. With that incredible track record, one might expect a euphoric wave of investors pouring into the stock market stadium, ready to open their wallets at the financial market concession stand. Au contraire. Despite the dramatic winning streak, investors remain complacent skeptics, analyzing and critiquing every political, economic, and financial market movement and gyration.