Profits of Doom: Are We Immune to Good News?

By Sadie Bass

Dec 7, 2009 4:13pm

ABC's Stu Schutzman reports from New York:

Have we become so attuned to bad news, even a hint of good news leaves some of us leery and suspicious?  Lately, it seems, virtually any sprig or “green shoot” pointing to an easing of our economic mess is met by a chorus of naysayers; pundits and prognosticators who are loath to admit things might be getting a little better for fear that worse doom and gloom lies just around the corner.  Last week just such indicators materialized showing the jobs situation looking a bit better.  Reason to celebrate?  Maybe not.  Reason for measured optimism?  Sure.  But after reading some columns and blogs this morning, you’d think the sky is falling. 

“Traders Fear a Strengthening Economy” read one headline in today’s Huffington Post — Huh?  And “Good News On Jobs, But Will It Last?” said another.  Make no mistake, says the former, investors looking for hopeful signs may have found them last Friday.  But this good news is making many of them “uneasy.”  Uneasy that if things get too much better, the Fed will raise interest rates next summer and the dollar will improve chasing investors from stocks.   So some are advising their clients to sell now and avoid the June rush.  And if this creates another market crash, so be it.

Friday’s jobs news was great begins the other piece and presages an “improving pattern” into next year.  “But how should Americans interpret this information?” asks the author.  “The post-recession dip in joblessness is the good news," says the piece. But, it warns, “looking ahead to the later phase of the expansion, the post world war II period shows disturbing cyclical patterns.”

For some, any good news apparently isn’t good enough.  For others it may be a little more nefarious.
There’s an old market expression — “buy on the bad news, sell on the good.”  But in order to profit from doom, first you have to create some.

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