Funny how big parties go unrealized. There's the great story of Bob Costas, the broadcaster, waiting in the
Boston Red Sox
locker room during the 1986
, preparing for the Bosox to win Game 6 and take the Series. But the ball went through Buckner's legs and the locker room -- with its World Series trophy, stage, microphones, cameras and champagne -- quietly and quickly cleared out in moments flat.
We head into the weekend holding party hats, the streamers getting a little dusty, the champagne beginning to tire from all the chilling and restowing. It seems that, in all the excitement to get ready for nine-hour specials on
and dancing elephant parades down Broad Street, someone decided to take a hard look at the fundamentals. And right now the fundamentals, the coming earnings season in particular, are starting to give some folks the willies.
It often happens like this. The collective group gets distracted by all the glitz and glamour, and some wiseacre points to a corner in the room where flames have started to lick at the drapes. After flirting with 10,000, we now are starting to wonder if we will vanquish the mystical level. I know, all kinds of folks say it's "just another number" like today is just another day. But numbers have some meaning, especially when people choose to collectively place a great deal of emphasis on a particular number. And the stock market, for all its ratios and measures, is also a big part psychology.
To paraphrase one commentator, it's not what you think the prettiest stock is, it's what you think everyone else thinks is the prettiest stock that matters. Our failure to get up and over 10,000 starts to leave a bad taste in the mouth, and that accentuates how people look at all those ratios and measures.
So what's on the horizon? Well, as mentioned, corporate earnings season is approaching. The quarter will end in a couple of weeks and that will mean a rising level of nervousness as people try to gauge the profit situation. With the market at these levels, the earnings season takes on an enormous level of importance. Also, the technology stock performance on Friday did little to help people's confidence. Tech, as ever these past few years, is playing the key leadership role. No tech, no dice.
Obviously a quick and decisive sprint past 10,000 will help allay rising concerns about corporate profits; each day we fail to muster the power to get up and over, the more problematic the earnings environment will become.
One good sign to note is Japan's recent resurgence. The Nikkei has powered above 16,000 and continues to show signs of strength. Could long-dormant Japan provide the boost to keep the U.S. stock market humming? Keep an eye on the Nikkei.
Good week for
. In particular, we received some acknowledgement of our work from outside organizations. The
National Magazine Awards
have nominated our publication as a finalist in the category of General Excellence in New Media. And the
Investigative Reporters and Editors
named Alex Berenson as a finalist in the Magazine/Specialty Publications category for his coverage last year of
. We know that readers like
because it delivers news quickly and accurately, and we are pleased to receive recognition from other organizations. But for all the awards or nods or nominations, we know that nothing matters unless we are hustling for you.