The U.S. stock market reminds us of the Maytag repairman- sitting idly, bored and lonely.
You would think a market up almost 10% so far this year would be chalk full of exciting possibilities and endless opportunities. Instead, it feels like we are just doing laundry- sorting, washing, folding, and ironing over and over again.
The first two months of the year, now that was exciting. The Trump Bump. Lots of stocks headed higher. But the past four months it seems we’ve been stuck in a never ending spin cycle.
Complacency has gripped the stock market, and until we see volatility get up off the canvas, we are going nowhere fast in either direction. This is really getting ridiculous. Almost nine years without a bear market. Just a couple of garden variety corrections, a flash-crash, and a short-lived Brexit hiccup, and that’s been about it. Other than that, fairly steady and pretty boring.
So c’mon, something has to give.
Maybe if we change the laundry routine up a little we can get out of the summer stock market doldrums. What if we see how many clothes we can stuff in the washer? Maybe put colors in with the whites? What if we accidentally leave the pack of gum in our jean’s pocket just to see what happens?
Oh man, we shouldn’t be talking like this. We should just keep doing the same boring wash using the same boring soap and the same boring fabric softener on the same boring cycle. Right?
But forgive us if in our boredom that we don’t wonder if the dishwasher could do just as good a job of washing and drying clothes in half the time? Or how much our wife’s knit sweater would shrink on one hour of high heat? Or how long our cat could run in the dryer until she gives out?
Stop it. Stop it. Let’s face the fact that the stock market is pretty boring right now, and there’s nothing we can do about it. The good news is that eventually boring periods end, and complacency leads once more to uncertainty, then nervousness, and possibly panic, which ultimately provides a stock market ripe with opportunities. We’ve been complacent and bored for quite a while now, so it could reverse before we know it. Until then, your clothes are dry.