BUY THE ANTICIPATION, SELL THE NEWS? From Bob Doll, vice chairman and global CIO of equities, BlackRock Gains in the broad US equity averages early last week were followed by a sell-off that left markets down overall. For the second quarter in a row, the S&P 500 experienced a notable pullback, almost 10% now, in the middle of strong earnings reporting. Reasons for the recent consolidation include China's efforts to slow growth, credit issues in Greece, financial bashing in the United States, some mixed economic news and, in terms of earnings, a prevailing attitude of "buy the anticipation, sell the news." We would argue that uncertainty about economic policies in the United States and abroad is creating downside risk, as markets clearly hate uncertainty.
Domestic uncertainties center on tax hikes, increasing stringency around bank regulation, and the cost of healthcare; global fears include policy tightening in Asia and the potential contagion from sovereign credit risks, especially in Europe.
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