Commentary

George Chamberlin

GEORGE CHAMBERLIN has been associated with The Daily Transcript at SDDT.com since 1998 and became Executive Editor in 2006. He is responsible for the development of editorial strategies for the newspaper and website. He has introduced video and audio into the editorial products and is the public face of the company at many community events. George regularly chairs industry roundtables and conducts video interviews of participants for use on the San Diego Source. He writes two daily columns, "Money in the Morning" and a daily stock market wrap-up.

George, a long time resident of North County, lives in Vista with his wife Terry.

From the Executive Editor

Stocks don't go up forever. After five weeks of higher and higher prices, the stock market finally suffered a down week. Granted, it wasn't very much, as the Dow industrials and S&P 500 were down less than 1 percent. It is understandable that investors were opting to be cautious considering this week's meeting of the Federal Reserve board followed by Janet Yellen's news conference on Wednesday. It is still a bit amazing how many people think the Fed is ready to make a major change in policy about interest rates and economic stimulus. Yellen has repeatedly said that rate hikes are still many, many months away, and some officials believe it could be well into 2016 before the economy could tolerate higher rates.

Drifting. That's about the best way to sum up the lazy summer market on Wall Street. Yesterday was a perfect example as the Dow dropped 20 points while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 eked out small gains. There is always an excuse to wait for something to happen before taking any action. After all, September is usually the worst month of the year for stock prices, so why not just sit it out and see what happens? We're just about halfway through the month and it is pretty much a standoff between the bulls and bears.

It didn’t have the hoopla of the Facebook IPO or the coming offering by Alibaba, but executives from Barclays were at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday to begin the first day of trading for the Barclays Return on Disability Exchange Traded Notes.

A bit of stability for stocks. The major market indexes rebounded yesterday after declining for two consecutive sessions. The Dow industrials returned above the 17K level with a gain of 55 points and the Nasdaq got a boost from Apple shares, up $3 to $101 with a delayed reaction to Tuesday's announcement of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) rang the closing bell on Wall Street to celebrate its 20th anniversary of listing with the index, after a quiet day that saw mixed prices Thursday.

Two in a row. Believe it or not, yesterday's 97-point drop in the Dow industrials, combined with the 29-point decline on Monday, marked the first back-to-back down days on Wall Street in a month and a half. Overall, the markets have had an upward bias despite all of the economic and geopolitical news from around the world. The markets will probably be jittery today ahead of the speech by President Obama this evening to discuss the strategy for dealing with the current terrorist threats.

Stocks rebounded from a two-session losing streak Wednesday ahead of President Obama's speech on terrorism.

An Apple a day. The world's technology media is gathering in Cupertino today to find out what, if anything, is up Apple's sleeves. More appropriately, what is on the wrist at Apple. In addition to the expected release of the iPhone 6, there is a lot of buzz about the possible introduction of the iWatch or some other type of wearable technology. It has been many years since Apple rocked the world with the iPad -- first presented in April 2010 -- and the pressure has been building on CEO Tim Cook to come up with a world-changing product in the fashion of Steve Jobs. With the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching, a new must-have piece of technology is imperative. Without something, Apple shares could get pressured. The stock has been holding steady right around $100, close to its high for the year.
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Thirty-three and counting. The stealth August/September rally on Wall Street was extended Friday with the S&P 500 closing at yet another all-time high and the Dow industrials coming within one point of a new high. The gains came despite a miserable employment report showing U.S. payrolls rose by just 142,000. Most observers are betting the report was an exception and not the start of a recessionary decline in employment. Either way, the news served as an indication the Fed will unlikely be raising short-term interest rates any time soon, always a relief to stock investors.

Stock prices seesawed Monday before the upcoming Apple meeting and more details on consumer spending.

Didn't see that one coming. The Department of Labor dropped a bit of a bomb on Wall Street this morning and Wall Street is a bit perplexed. All week long, investors have been waiting for today's August report on the job market with high expectations. So, imagine the surprise when the DOL report says payrolls rose by just 142,000 last month and the June and July payroll reports were revised lower by 28,000. This snapped a string of six months in a row where payrolls rose by more than 200,000. To be sure, and the media is focusing on this element, the nation's unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent, mostly because some 64,000 people dropped out of the labor force.

A funny thing happened on the way to the recovery from the Great Recession. Friday’s employment report for August showed weaker growth in payrolls than had been expected and raised more questions than were answered.

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