Dow Diary: Call Me Mr. October

Dear Diary,

Another month in the books! Today’s four-point gain puts me at 11,118.49 — up 3.1 percent for October! Not too shabby for a month that saw huge foreclosure turmoil for the banking sector, uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus, renewed rage over the BP/Halliburton oil spill and a general frightening overhang of unemployment and sadness out on Main Street. Not that Main Street matters all that much, but still.

Before we go any further, let’s hear it for Microsoft, which in reporting earnings today put investors at ease about potential encroachment by Apple into the PC business. Gotta love having a software giant among my components.

Next week is huge for me, what with midterm elections coming up. Plus, the Fed should make some kind of announcement about quantitative easing. The new Fed money-injection strategy may be more gradual than the trillions we’d previously expected, but with today’s third-quarter GDP figures showing uncomfortably slow growth, who knows what the central bank will actually do?

It’ll be nice to get some of those anxieties out of the way. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the Halloween weekend. The S&P 500 is having a party Saturday night. I can’t decide whether to go as the Nasdaq Composite or a collateralized debt obligation. Decisions, decisions!

See you Monday,

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow Diary: Call Me Mr. October