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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

The market is down because... [sound of shaking magic 8-ball]

Let me share with you a piece from Mon­ey Cen­tral, but I am not pick­ing on them, you can find the same crap on ev­ery news­pa­per or TV chan­nel's fi­nan­cial sec­tion:

The push to dump stocks came in re­sponse to news that ar­tillery fire was ex­changed overnight be­tween North Ko­rea and South Ko­re­a. Though ten­sion be­tween the two na­tions has been per­sis­ten­t, the lat­est episode marks a dra­mat­ic es­ca­la­tion of the tone be­tween them.

That de­vel­op­ment added to the dis­tress of mar­ket par­tic­i­pants, who have long held con­cern for the frag­ile state of fi­nances among coun­tries in the Eu­ro­pean Union pe­riph­ery. Even Ire­land re­mains a point of wor­ry as it has yet to com­plete­ly struc­ture a bailout pack­age and im­ple­ment aus­ter­i­ty mea­sures.

Dis­tress and un­cer­tain­ty moved many in­to the rel­a­tive safe­ty of the dol­lar, which was up 1.3% against com­pet­ing cur­ren­cies at the close of trade. The ad­vance marked its big­gest one-­day bounce in a month and put the cur­ren­cy at its best lev­el in al­most two month­s.

But my ti­tle is a lie, these guys are not look­ing at a mag­ic 8-bal­l. What they are look­ing at is the rest of the news­pa­per. Let me share the recipe:

  1. See if the mar­ket is up or down.

  2. Up? Then look at the news and check for good news.

    1. What? No im­­­por­­­tant god news? Awe­­­some! Then fig­ure out how some­thing that looks bad is ac­­­tu­al­­­ly good. That's a gold­en chance to be de­­­clared in­­­sight­­­ful.

    2. Good news? Bin­­­go, that's why the mar­ket is up.

  3. Down? Look at the news and check for bad news.

    1. Bad news? Ok, that's why.

    2. No big bad news? Great! Then some­thing that's good needs to be de­scribed as "caus­ing un­cer­­­tain­­­ty"

In the re­al world, the busi­ness an­a­lysts have on­ly the fog­gi­est no­tion of why the mar­kets move as they do. In fac­t, if they had a no­tion, the mar­ket wouldbe pre­dictable. If it were pre­dictable, then savvy in­vestors would beat the mar­ket.

And that does­n't hap­pen.