Dow Diary: Coasting on in to the New Year

dowjonesindustrial 76 Dow Diary: Coasting on in to the New YearDear Diary,

Hard to explain today’s slim loss. Weekly jobless claims dipped below 400,000 today to hit a two-year low. Could the economy be turning around? A measure of Chicago manufacturing activity rose to levels it hasn’t seen since 1988, and according to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales are on the rise.

I think the reason I’m not really buoyant on the good news is that most people just aren’t that interested in trading stocks today, what with New Year’s right around the corner. I can’t blame them. I booked a nearly 11 percent gain this year, which is especially crazy when you consider that the economy has looked pretty stagnant for much of it. If I were a trader, I’d be hoping to close this year out quietly and start fresh come 2011.

In that spirit, I’m signing off. Happy New Year!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average