Stocks are starting to sputter

Nothing terrible happened today - the Dow was down just 48 points, to 13,437, and for the July-September quarter, the index was up 557 points, or 4.3 percent. Not too shabby. But stocks have fallen five of the last six days, and you do have to wonder what might drive the market higher in the coming weeks. Corporate earnings season begins next week and the third quarter is not likely to be a strong. Any gains related to the Federal Reserve's decision to boost their bond-buying has been played out. The economy remains, at best, hit and miss, and Europe is still a crap shoot. Rationalizing stock movements, of course, is foolish, but keep in mind that October is not often kind to traders. In other words, things might get a bit bumpy.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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