August 2009 Financial Asset Roundup
|Asset||July 2009||August 2009||Change|
It's been a fun ride over the past month as the S&P 500 index has surged 14.56% since the last update:
(chart courtesy of msn.com)
Hints of the recession coming to an end are starting to appear. Unemployment actually went down to 9.4% and a few talking heads have already called an end to the recession (much to the dismay of the Federal Reserve, I'm guessing). Still, I think we need a much larger improvement on the jobs front before declaring victory.
Along with the rise in the stock market, crude oil has jumped to above $70 per barrel again. I've definitely been seeing that reflected in increases at local gas pumps over the past couple of weeks. On another note, the partisan whining about health care reform is ironic (not to mention disappointing) considering the Democrats are proposing a plan not unlike the one implemented in Massachusetts by former Republican governor Mitt Romney. For Pete's sake, I wish both parties would stop whining and do something about the annual double digit price increases in health insurance premiums that I have been seeing for this entire decade.
As for money moves, I took advantage of the stock market bounce to sell my position in home improvement retailer Lowe's Companies Inc, (LOW) that I've held for the past nine years. I figured it was time to lock in my profit considering the stock price was up near YTD highs and I don't see the housing market ready to boom any time soon. I'm still unsure what to do about my first Penfed 6% APY CD maturing next month, although I'm actually considering dumping the cash in a one year 2% APY Penfed CD. Yuck...