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An Even Better Month?

By Dian Vujovich

Another month gone by another rise in the market, pretty much.

Gone from the under 20 bucks a share column among the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average is Intel. Closing Friday, October 9, 2009, at $20.17 per share, you can cross that one off of your list if you’d hoped to purchase shares of it on the cheap. And, if the market continues to head upwards taking Intel along with it.

So now instead of five under $20 choices there are four. In alphabetical order they include Alcoa (AA), it closed at $14.24 per share at the end of last week—that’s up $1.25 from when I checked on 9/11 last month; Bank of America (BA) at $17.50 a share—down a buck forty-seven; General Electric (GE) at $16.18 up $1.51 per share; and Pfizer (PFE) at $16.92 up 67 cents per share.

None of the 30 Dow stocks closed under $10 a share.

Very good news for the DJIA is that it closed at a 2009 high of 9865 last week. How’d that happen? Well, at the end of the second quarter this year it gained 11 percent. During the third quarter, another 15 percent. I realize that the S&P 500 is more often watched because it represents a broader market, but with this year’s Dow behavior thus far, it’s rewards have definitely been worth noting.

Where we go from here is of course anybody’s guess. There are some who think the market is now overvalued and that a 5 to 10 or even 15 percent correction is in store. Others don’t. They believe our companies are leaner and meaner now than they have been in decades because salaries are down and there are fewer employee and employee related costs to deal with, and inventories are low and poised to grow thanks to the weak dollar making our exports more attractive to foreign purchasers.

I’ve not seen an increase in customers carrying shopping bags at any of the malls or along the Avenue. So in spite of the markets’ rallying, shoppers don’t appear to be.

Another look next month.

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