COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

The Wall Street roller coaster continues to be a wild ride. Things looked real good on Friday with the Dow industrials up nearly 300 points during most of the session. However, some profit-taking cut the gain to just 114 points at the close. That set the stage for more selling this morning with the blue chip index falling another 150 points. Keep in mind the major market indexes are only off about 5-6 percent through the first three quarters of 2015. When you consider the markets are up about 220 percent since bottoming in March 2009, I guess a 5 percent correction is not the end of the world, as many are suggesting.

*****

An amazing survey about the stock market has been released by Allianz, a large life insurance company and one of the largest sellers of annuity products. According to its "Generations Apart" study, baby boomers and Gen-Xers, "appear to suffer from a significant psychological impact on their financial attitudes and behaviors, including lost confidence in financial institutions," as a result of the stock market crash in 2008. The report finds 67 percent of these whiners said they still feel the impact on how they live, work, save and spend. My immediate reaction to this survey -- which ultimately suggests these crybabies should put all their money in annuities -- is similar to what Don Corleone in "The Godfather" said to Johnny Fontaine, the singer who cried to the Godfather because he couldn't get the lead role in a major movie. "Act like a man!" screamed the Don, the only time he raised his voice the entire film. Quite simply, if these people had only stayed the course and held through the decline they would be dramatically higher and well on their way to a massive retirement nest egg.

*****
A busy week for economic news is already off and running. The Commerce Department reported this morning personal incomes in August rose 0.3 percent while spending was up 0.4 percent. The spending number is especially impressive as it showed a sizeable increase despite the sharp drop nationwide in gas prices. As I say repeatedly, Americans didn't cut back on buying gas, in fact they probably increased consumption. However, they simply paid much less for the gas they bought. The spending numbers reflect the continued strength in auto sales as well as a big jump in back-to-school shopping.

*****
Yet to come this week are reports on home prices, auto sales and several jobs reports capped off on Friday by the Labor Department's update on payrolls and the nation's unemployment rate in September.

*****
Hard to believe in a few days we will be three-quarters of the way through 2015.

*****
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf and his wife were among the folks gathered at the White House Friday night for the State Dinner with the President of China.

*****
A record-setting start for the new iPhone. Apple says sales of the iPhone 6S Plus topped 13 million units in the first three days it was available starting on Friday. Skeptics, of course, said consumers were too smart and wouldn't rush to buy something that is just a modified version of an existing product. Wrong.

*****
It was a great week for the world's best golfer, Jordan Spieth. Not only did he win the Coca-Cola Classic in Atlanta and pocket a cool $1.2 million, he also won the FedEx Cup and collected the $10 million prize. That brings his 2015 earnings -- not including endorsements -- to $22 million. Not too shabby for a guy that is only 22 years old. Equally thrilled is his caddy, Michael Greller. Caddies usually get paid 10 percent of the players earnings, meaning Greller, who was teaching high school math a couple of years ago, will pocket a cool $2 million. To be sure, they are a great team and Spieth gives Greller much credit for his success.

*****
And then there's the Chargers...

User Response
0 UserComments