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Well last week sure was one heck of a ride

By Dian Vujovich

Although last week’s stock markets seemed an awful lot like a serious roller coaster ride at a State Fair, ya gotta throw in Disney’s It’s a Small World ride too. Reason being, even though we all talk about the fact that we live in a global economy, it’s not often that that reality smacks us in the face.

Looking back at last week we saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise or fall by at least 400 points in four straight days. That’s the first time ever—as in the history of the DJIA—that has happened.

Another first: the downgrading of America’s credit rating, thanks to Standard & Poor’s cockamamie thinking and calculating.

Top the markets’ wicked gyrations with our new U.S. credit rating along with debt problems at home and abroad and I’m surprised the ride was so tame.

In the end, or at least by close of business on Thursday, August 11, 2011, the average U.S. diversified equity fund was down 7.3 percent year-to-date, the average sector down 5.6 percent and the average world equity fund down 9.3 percent, according to Lipper.

A few of the biggest losers: Latin American funds, the average of the group down over 16.8 percent, financial services funds down about the same and leveraged equity funds off over 17.7 percent.

The one bright spot in all the mess? You guessed it: Commodities precious metals funds. There are 19 funds that fall under that Lipper heading with the average y-t-d performance up over 19 percent.

But that was last week and we all know every day is a new day on Wall Street. As we see but often forget to believe, this one Monday, August 13, 2011 proved it once again: By 2:30 the Dow was up 183 points and by closing bell time ahead over 213.

Apparently Merger Monday made a come back. Odds of that being a regular weekly deal I’m guessing seem iffy: While there is plenty of money on the sidelines, there are plenty of worries and politicking too.

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