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Chinese Year of the Horse off to a rough start

By Dian Vujovich

If the characteristics of those born in the Year of the Horse could be translated into some kind of market forecast, it’s clear that things are off to a rough start. That’s because as much as those under this seventh sign of the Chinese horoscope that began last week are known for their free spirits, they are also likely to be great savers and financial savvy but somewhat unpredictable.


Those last three points—great savers, financially savvy and unpredictable—are things investors born whenever would be wise to keep in mind this year.


Monday’s nasty close on Wall Street left a number of talking heads questioning whether the market is headed for a correction, into a bear territory or simply burping after last year’s hefty money-making meal.


Depending upon where your dollars are invested, the answer could be yes to all three scenarios.


Looking strictly at the numbers, a correction requires a 10 percent drop from an index’s high and we’re not there at this point in time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s Feb. 3 close showed a decline of 7.3 percent— that average would have to hit  about 14930 to be off 10 percent.  And, the S&P 500 was off 5.7 percent and would have to land at about 1645 to be down 10 percent.


Looking at the world at large, markets around the world are off to an equally rough start as well: In January alone, the markets in Canada, Germany and France were all off over 4 percent.


In PNC’s Weekly Market Guide dated February 3, 2014, there was only one index in the U.S market showing a plus return: FTSE NAREIT Equity—up 3.17 percent. Indices from around the globe were off as little as 2.59 percent in Japan and as much as 9.6 percent in Latin America.


Trying to figure out where the market is headed for the remainder of 2014 would be a lot like trying to figure out how the Denver Broncos played such a miserable game on Sunday. Perhaps their horse mascot  didn’t get the memo about how the Year of the Horse likes to compete and win.


As for today’s investor, depending upon their  needs, the markets offer  both  buying and by-ing opportunities.

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