Raise your hand if you thought the market would drop today
As we Americans awoke this morning (and rubbed the stink bugs out of our eyes, at least if you live where I do -- though they may soon meet their nemesis), we were greeted with the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as (though not as important, of course) global stock markets declining as a result. So raise your hand if you thought U.S. stocks would be down today.
Come on, be honest...
OK, mine is up, too.
Well, the market is up. The storyline is that the event caused the price of oil to drop, which thus caused stocks to rise. Of course, the market is the sum of decisions made by millions of investors (well, nowadays, computers), so it's never truly knowable after the fact what makes these investors/computers/cyborgs do what they do. However, I do know that trying to predict what they'll do before the fact is even more difficult.
Robert Brokamp, CFP®, is the senior advisor for the Fool's Rule Your Retirement service.