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The turkeys are running wild so is it time to gobble up stocks?

By Dian Vujovich

Historically, Thanksgiving week has been a pretty good one for stocks thanks to Black Friday sales. This year, there will be Thankless Thursday sales to add to what retailers hope will help kick-off a prosperous sales season. But if today is any indication of how the week goes, a serious dose of trytophan might be the best way to get through the week.

Today, Nov. 21, 2011, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11,547 down over 248 points from Friday’s close. The S&P 500 was down too. It closed at 1,192.9 and NASDAQ ended the day at 2,523 down nearly 2 percent.

Looking only at the S&P 500 and its historical returns, ever since Thanksgiving was officially recognized as a holiday 70 years ago, (in 1941), the S&P has enjoyed an average gain for the week of 0.49 percent, according to SeekingAlpha.com. And, moved up 64 percent of the time.

That beats the typical one-week average of that scorecard: Since 1941, the S&P has been positive 56 percent of the time and up 0.16 percent, on average.

There is, however, nothing typical about this year. For openers, in addition to the first-time ever downgrading of America’s credit rating, there’s our soaring national debt to deal with. Add to that Wall Street —and the government’s — head-in-the-sand approach regarding wages for the now suffering middle- and lower-classes, our increased life expectancies and decreased concerns over the huge number of oldsters with little-to-no savings in hand to cover their golden retirement years along with soaring medical costs, and the United States is in one heck of a societal and financial mess. Throw Europe and the euro into the mix and the problems only get huger. It’s no wonder investors are worried and the markets volatile.

Then again, corporate coffers are brimming. So while there is no crystal ball with enough clarity to show us the future, maybe it’s time to drag out that old ’80’s saying, ” Don’t let the turkeys get you down. ” There are, after all, some very attractive buys on the street for those who want to gobble.

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