October 2011 Market Commentary

Just as the mood of world markets and the American consumer reached its gloomiest at the end of September, we had a surprisingly upbeat equity market in October. Reflecting this perceived misery, the October U.S. consumer confidence number registered 39.8, the lowest since March 2009. A series of reports indicating improved economic data helped to calm nerves and boost financial markets both domestically and abroad. An improving outlook for the U.S. couldn’t have come at a better time, since we’ve endured growing economic pessimism over the last six months.

Historically, October has been among the worst months for financial markets. The Great Depression started with the Great Crash of October 1929, "Black Monday" occurred in October 1987, and our latest financial crisis reached its peak of distress in October 2008. Thankfully, the news from October 2011 was far more encouraging.

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