COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

Four in a row. The attempt by the stock market yesterday to rally out of the recent sharp declines fizzled in the final hour of trading yesterday and led to a fourth consecutive day to the downside. But it was not just any four days of declines. The loss of 205 points on the Dow industrials marked the fourth session in a row the index has been down 200 points or more. That has never happened before.

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Stocks are opening higher but with little confidence. The quick reversal yesterday seemed to suck the oxygen out of the stock market yesterday and will make it definitely harder for any rebound rally to stick.

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Lost in the noise of Wall Street have been several economic reports showing the U.S. economy is doing just fine. New home sales rose in July, consumer confidence has risen to the highest level since 2007 and durable goods orders rose in July with an increase in business investments. Tomorrow we will get the first revision in the Q2 GDP report, as well as the weekly report on initial claims for jobless benefits.

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Also lost in all the noise today is a massive merger in the oil sector. Schlumberger is acquiring Cameron International in a deal valued at $14.8 billion. It combines an oil field service company with the energy equipment maker. Cameron shares are up 40 percent on the news. It is not uncommon to see big deals like this postponed when the markets are in flux.

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Kudos to the LA Times for a column yesterday warning investors, especially long-term investors, to quit watching CNBC. The fact is the cable business channel does not put out information to benefit the classic buy-and-hold investor; rather, it features managers who are trying to time the markets. Does the name Jim Cramer ring a bell? All of the "experts" on CNBC are actually traders who are simply touting their recommendations. I couldn't help but notice when I was checking out the various business channels at 3 a.m. today how gloomy the anchors and guests were. As a contrarian, this is good news. These guys who were pitching fast money trades on Monday got clobbered and are now firmly in the bear camp. Sounds like a good time to do some buying.

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All of the turmoil this week has caused a lot of analysts to revise their predictions about when the Fed will start raising short-term interest rates. A couple of weeks ago the betting money had the Fed acting in September. Now, a December hike seems possible. Or, as more people are saying, October is in play. How about mid-2016?

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Congratulations to the kids from Sweetwater as they pulled off another win last night in the Little League World Series. They play again tomorrow night against a team to be decided later today.

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