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St. Patrick’s market luck not so hot but wisdom good

By Dian Vujovich

I’ve always been a sucker for Irish guys. Clearly I find their brand of blarney attractive. But when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day and the stock market, so much for the luck of the Irish.

I’m not sure if yesterday’s St. Patty’s Day downer was due to too many green beers or what, but, the indices sure did reflect the serious power of the shillelagh: On March 17, 2015, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 129 points to close at 17,849.08 and the S&P 500 was down 6.9 points and closed at 2,074.28.

Even BUD had an off day. Imagine that! That’s pretty wild given that St. Patrick’s Day is the fourth largest drinking day in the United States, according to Zacks.com.
FYI, Anheuser-Busch (BUD) lost 45 cents a share yesterday to close at $121.00. Wall Street talking heads said you could always count on BUD because it’s a beer stock that’s been up on every St. Patrick’s Day since 2010. So much for talking heads.
Although NASDAQ pulled off a plus day and gained nearly 9 points, markets around the world closed mixed like ours did. Japan’s Nikkei, for example, closed up and Germany’s DAX down.

With today’s session in the tank before Federal Reserve Bank Chairwoman Janet Yellen spoke and then turned positive after commenting that an interest rate increase wasn’t going to happen at this point in time but perhaps later in the year, both stock and bond markets rallied.

Regarding the near future, the world seems to have fallen out of love with U.S. stocks. Bloomberg reported this morning that, “Not since the year of the credit crisis have the worlds biggest investors had a lower opinion of American equities.” Oh my.

From that same source: “The U.S. stock market was an island of opportunity for a number of years,” Stacey Nutt, chief investment officer who oversees about $4 billion at ClariVest Asset Management LLC in San Diego, California, said by phone. “It has lost that status, not because it’s negative, but because other places around the world have started becoming more attractive.”

That’s a point well taken as every developed market around the world has performed better than the S&P 500 so far this year, according to Bloomberg.

But as we all know, markets are fickle and moody and what it takes to tick them off—in one direction or the other—has always been hard to figure ahead of time.

So maybe the best that we can do is to carry a three-leaf clover —that’s what St. Patrick used to represent the trinity—and wish a little bit of good fortune on others.

Stuck for what to wish? How about beginning with this Irish Proverb: “As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point In the wrong direction.”

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