Dow Diary: Dang European Banks Killed My Buzz

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Things were looking up heading into this past weekend. Four days of upside action from Tuesday to Friday, then a killer three-day weekend to catch my breath. It really seemed for a minute like I had something good going. But I should’ve known it wouldn’t last.

Truthfully, I’m not even sure what it was that kept me from climbing higher today. What I do know is that some of today’s news sure did get stuck in my craw. I picked up today’s Wall Street Journal, and what do I see? European banks might have more hard-to-value government bonds on their balance sheets than everyone thought! Even after the stress tests! What’s the point, I ask, of having a stress test, if you’re just going to hide your risk? It’s like going to the doctor and neglecting to mention the rash that’s been bothering you for months!

So that wasn’t fun. I got so sad I could barely pay attention when people started talking about President Obama’s plan to cut taxes on businesses and step up infrastructure spending. Sorry, but I’m just not that optimistic about it. Did you see what that Goldman Sachs economist, Jan Hatzius, said? “They could be helpful but are unlikely to have a large effect on growth.” Thanks a ton, Obama. Sounds like you really got it all figured out.

I guess I should take some solace that the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into how computer trading contributed to the May 6 “flash crash,” but with an official report still weeks away, I’m on edge. May 6 was not a great day for me. Like, at all. And you might remember, the Europe banking crisis was on my mind back then, too.

Sorry to be such a grumpy Gus, but check out where I’m at today. Almost all my stocks went down, with three exceptions — Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and GE. I guess investors are still confident in people’s desire for junk food and need for lightbulbs. But if you were to judge by every other stock in my portfolio, every industry — from construction (Caterpillar) to computer chips (Intel) to baby shampoo (Johnson & Johnson) and childlike wonder (Disney) — are in for a harsh six months or so. And that bums me out.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Anyway, I’m down less than 1 percent this year, so at least there’s that. For now, though, I can’t help but feel like there’s a major slog ahead.

Till tomorrow,

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow Diary: Dang European Banks Killed My Buzz