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George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

A pause in the recent stretch of losses on Wall Street. The Dow industrials posted their biggest gain in nearly six months last week by posting a solid gain of 2.1 percent. It snapped a 10-week losing streak for the major market indexes. Of course, the business media scoffed at the gains. A reporter for Barron's, owned by the Wall Street Journal, said, "There's little indication the gains will stick." Avi Salzman used a couple of investor sentiment surveys to support his claim. Avi must be right out of his high school journalism class and unaware negative investor sentiment is actually a positive for the stock market. As Warren Buffett has said repeatedly, you buy stocks when no one wants them and sell when people are anxious to buy.


To be sure, where the markets go this week will likely be determined by the outcome of the Wednesday-Thursday meeting of the Fed's Open Market Committee. Betting money is evenly split as to whether or not the Fed will finally begin raising short-term rates for the first time in nearly a decade or if they will remain cautious, uncertain if the economy could tolerate higher rates no matter how small the increase.

Ordinarily the Fed meeting is a Tuesday-Wednesday event. However, because Yom Kippur falls on Wednesday the meeting will begin a day later. By the Way, after the Fed announcement is released on Thursday morning it will be followed by a press conference with chair Janet Yellen. It makes a certain amount of sense for the Fed to act and give her a chance to explain the move in detail rather than just issue a press statement.

The future direction of gas prices in Southern California will likely be determined at a meeting on Thursday when officials from the Exxon Mobil refinery severely damaged in an explosion late last year will attempt to get approval from air quality authorities in Los Angeles to plug in the refinery and start producing gasoline for the region. In the past it has supplied gas for most parts of So Cal and without it prices have not been able to decline as much as in other areas of the country.

Also on the schedule this week are key reports on retail sales, home construction and unemployment claims.

Charger fans must be thrilled by the comeback victory at the Q yesterday against the Detroit Lions. It was very interesting to see the Lions go into a prevent defense at the end of the first quarter, with a 21-3 lead, and let Philip and the Bolts offense carve them to pieces.

Unfortunately, the SDSU Aztecs football team did just the opposite Saturday in Berkeley. They marched quickly down the field on their first possession and scored a touchdown against the Cal Bears with ease. That was the end of any offense for the Aztecs the rest of the way. I guess you could say the same for the defense as they got rolled over, 35-7.

No need to comment on the Padres.

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