Barron’s Alan Abelson notes what the Bears have observed and the Bulls take for granted: Bad news is good; Good news is good; In fact, its all good:
"WE’RE IN THE MIDST of one of those aberrational stock markets that treats everything that happens as bullish.
Good news, such as the revised employment data, is bullish because it signals a strong economy and more of the sparkling corporate earnings we’ve seen these past few years. Bad news, like the weakness in retail sales, is bullish because it will keep the Federal Reserve from lifting interest rates. It’s like being in a bar with a perpetual happy hour.
With their minds and sensibilities numbed to everything but the lure of capital gains, investors are impervious to the various and sundry calamities and eruptions wracking this old planet. The prospect that bloody Iraq may split into three even more bloody parts doesn’t rate a passing thought. News of North Korea’s nuclear bomb test had as much impact on the collective investment psyche as an autumn leaf settling ever so gently down to earth. Even the growing likelihood that the Democrats will take control of one, conceivably even both, houses of Congress and be in excellent position to commit all manner of mischief, evokes, at most, a so-what from the average man in the Street.
Mind you, we’re not complaining, but simply marveling at such admirable insouciance. And, who knows? Perhaps this cool philosophical attitude, a kind of postmodern stoicism, has something to be said for it. After all, bad things are always going on somewhere in the world — and the world, last time we checked, was still here. The most anyone ever gets pulling his hair out worrying about the way the world is spinning is bald."
Well said (of which, the modern equivalent is "True dat").
UP AND DOWN WALL STREET
Barron’s October 16, 2006