Mixed Signals

The Fed did what most people expected yesterday and lowered interest rates another 50 basis points.  The stock market initially celebrated and then in keeping with the recent history of volatility, ended the day on the downside.  The debate still rages about the economy, that many folks think is headed for a recession, or already is in one.  Well, I guess we are old fashioned but we believe that a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of lower GNP.  That has not happened, nor is it likely.  Employment is holding up rather well, and aside from the housing sector, the economy is in reasonably good shape.  There are problems in the credit markets that are serious and must be factored into any outlook for equity prices.  It has been a horrible January and having been on the Street for more years than I care to remember, and old saying goes, " As goes January so goes the market for the year".  If that’s the case there is still a lot of hurt coming for stock prices.  In my opinion, I would be using any rallies in the market as a chance to lighten long positions.  Don’t panic but be prudent.

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