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.NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) -- What if the employment report for February is much weaker-than-anticipated? What if Israel drops much bigger hints about a pre-emptive strike on Iran? What if gasoline prices surge another 20% over the next two months as we head into the summer? Or what if core inflation increases so rapidly that the Fed finds itself hinting at rate hikes sooner than 2014? For the time being, even the boldest bulls realize that stock prices may cool off after the best two-month performance since 1991. That means "long" investors have few choices but to wait before putting new money to work. Feel like you absolutely, positively have to get into something? Consider SPDR Metals and Mining ( XME). XME has set higher highs in every consecutive month since November. Yet, the ETF is more than -10% off an October peak and more than -30% off an early 2011 pinnacle. If you believe that central bank QE bond purchasing by the Fed and ECB will create significant
Similarly, over the last few months, a large coffee chain raised the price on its large iced tea from $2.45 to $2.65. That 8.2% gain is pretty close to the Dow's and it occurred in the same time span. Is tea inflation the reason for the stock market's successes? Granted, any individual who writes about investment markets is likely to interpret the stock market tea leaves. Nevertheless, if we're going to do it... if we're going to imply causation from other events... we'd do better to offer a wider variety of influential factors (as well as the emotions tied to them). Specifically, there's less fear of European bank failure as measured by declining 3-month LIBOR rates. There's less fear of a double-dip recession in the U.S. after a series of estimate-beating economic reports. There's less fear of a collapse in China with the People's Bank loosening policy with lower reserve requirements. And yes... there may even be less fear of an unknown politician inhabiting the White House in November because the current Administration incumbent is highly likely to have a Republican-led Congress (according to InTrade.com). Keep in mind, fear can return as quickly as it dissipates. That said, one of the few good reasons to pay attention to mainstream financial media? If you're looking to sell what they are buying. Otherwise, you might as well flip a coin on whether a fast-trading prognosticator will get it right or get it wrong.