Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer. For those taking it easy during July and August, it's time to get back to business. The three-day weekend is often the last hurrah for the workers in many industries who know the rat race will be in full effect again starting today.
In the market, those lazy Fridays are over. That means the half-days followed by the early exodus to the beach are done for many in the market, and volume should return to normal. And for those just coming back, you are in for a nice surprise. Stocks were expected to rally Tuesday (and they are) after Hurricane Gustav didn't inflict as much damage as expected.
Gustav is now over western Louisiana and has weakened to a tropical depression. The storm spared New Orleans of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina three years ago but did knock out power to half the city. The city coordinated the biggest evacuation in its history as 1.9 million people left the coastal areas as the storm approached. It's smart to be prepared and it's even better that the storm didn't devastate the city.
For me, the market rally should be good news as a couple of my picks feel ready to pop. As with many of my picks, sometimes you need just one good bounce to achieve a gain. Right now, I have eight picks in play (To see my exclusive market picks, check out my newsletter,
). That is near the fewest number of picks I have had in play all year, rivaling only the start of the season. Right now, the reason I have so few picks on the board is because my streak of gains in July and August brought that number down from more than 25 picks in play.
Another great thing about September rolling around is that pennant fever is in full swing around the big leagues. Three races are shaping up to be particularly interesting down the stretch: the National League East, National League West and the American League Central. I have written a lot about the seesaw battle my two former teams, the Mets and Phillies, have been locked in for most of the season. The Mets are up by two games in the standings with just 26 to go. However, the team has a shaky bullpen and will need to overcome the memory of the late season collapse of last season. The two teams play each other this weekend -- it should be intense.
In the AL Central, the Twins and Chicago White Sox are locked in a dead heat, with each team sitting at 77 wins and 60 losses. The race is even more interesting because the winner of that race goes to the playoffs, while it looks like the loser has a good chance of missing the playoffs altogether. Currently, the Red Sox hold the lead in the wildcard standings with 80 wins. The Sox trail the Rays by five games in AL East.
Out here on the West Coast, the Diamondbacks have the lead by 2.5 games over the Dodgers. Arizona is just three games above .500 with a 70-67 record, but has a shot at the postseason because the NL West is very weak this year.
Always Remember: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!
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At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."