The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
By Tim Begany
NEW YORK (StreetAuthority) -- Finally, the stock market and economy are doing noticeably better.
Perhaps the most welcome sign is unemployment, which has gradually worked its way down to 8.5% from a recession high of 10.1% in October 2009. The S&P 500 has risen nearly 9% in the past three months and investors have been forecasting progressively less market volatility, as shown by a 35% decline in the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index during the past three months.Not all the stocks that have been participating in the recent rally deserve to, however, because the companies they represent simply don't have a very bright future. Even though these stocks have been going up with the overall market, plenty of them could drag a portfolio down in the long-run. I wouldn't recommend these stocks to anybody because they're likely to seriously underperform and lose you money, even if there's an extended bull market. Office supply retailer Office Depot (ODP) is such a stock.
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