What to Do?With the market likely influenced heavily by the machinations in Washington (and neither fundamentals nor technicals holding the key to investment success), I remain an opportunistic trader, not a member of the buy-and-hold crowd. Looking beyond the current impasse, our trading and investment focus will soon be back on a lackluster top-/bottom-line and profit margin (70% above five-decade averages) outlook for large U.S. corporations (which has likely deteriorated as a result of the Washington follies), an already-seen 2013 expansion in P/E multiples (from less than 14x to more than 16x) and a still-scary and unresolved global geopolitical backdrop. Frankly, I have too much respect for money to be deeply committed or to fake and pretend conviction (as I see many bulls and bears do) at today's market levels, given the overall uncertainties expressed in this morning's missive. Reward (upside) is simply not particularly attractive relative to the risks (downside).
This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 7:54 a.m. EDT on Oct. 7.