Focus on what the market is doing, not why

Focusing on stock market action and fundamentals is probably a better bet right now than seeking explanations, Brown writes.

Henny Ray Abrams/AP/File
In this November 2012 file photo, Gregg Maloney, left, and Ronnie Howard, center, both of Barclays, direct trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The reason people work so hard to ascribe a cause to market action is because they can then make a decision once that cause goes away, Brown writes.

There seems to be a debate about what's causing the continued market malaise right now, at a time of year when stocks are typically in rally mode.

One camp blames "Fiscal Cliff Fears" while another says this is all about Euro weakness and the latest Greek deal that no one seems to be satisfied with.

The reason people work so hard to ascribe "The Why" to market action is because they can then make a decision once that Why goes away. In other words, if you believe the market is down on Fiscal Cliff stuff, you would then be a buyer when signs appear that an agreement will be made.

To me, The Why is not worth debating. Focusing on market action and fundamentals is probably a better bet right now than seeking explanations. The What is the thing, The Why will only matter to the textbook writers years from now. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Focus on what the market is doing, not why
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Reformed-Broker/2012/1130/Focus-on-what-the-market-is-doing-not-why
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe