Letter: Market gyrations meaningless to most

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The stock market is going down. Does the average American really care?

The stock market may be a leading indicator, but it is often wrong. Our economy is unpredictable and right now it is strong and growing. The past few months have been very volatile, but more than half of action is generated by computer programmed trading orders, not by shareholders. It seems as if many people are looking for a reason for the market to go down, but has anything fundamentally changed between September and December?

Based on the commerce I see daily, certainly not for the average American. How many people actually own stock or enough to really care? Stock prices may be important for the typical IBJ reader who invests in the market. But most Americans aren’t investors and the economic touch points they see are very positive:

People are working, wages are rising, productivity is increasing, and consumer spending is strong, companies are making money, interest rates are low, gas prices are low, and more eligible people are joining the workforce from the sidelines.

What I see on Main Street isn’t what I see on Wall Street, so I will continue to buy stock as others sell. Meanwhile the average American goes to work and lives their lives free from the daily market swings and the exhortations of the news media.

__________

Curtiss Quirin

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