Dow Diary: Maybe Those Euro Banks Aren’t So Bad

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What do you call it when you’re halfway back in business?

That’s kinda how I feel today. I tacked on 46 points, which puts me up less than half of one percent. Not a rally for the record books, but I’ll take it! Funny how things can change overnight, because yesterday I wasn’t doing so hot. So what’s different today?

Let’s see. … I can tell you right away that I’m a little less worked up about European banks’ exposures to sovereign debt than I was yesterday. The Committee of European Banking Supervisors basically said it was still pretty confident about the stress tests. I mean, you’d expect that kind of assessment from the organization that did the tests, but between that and just being a little less freaked out by yesterday’s Wall Street Journal barnburner on the Euro banks, I decided to take the positive news where I could get it. Sometimes it’s not productive to focus too hard on a big problem, you know?

Still, I can’t shake this nagging feeling that today’s optimism may give way to a minor meltdown sooner or later. Ever noticed how when you’re in a rut, it takes a bunch of good days to start to feel right again? That’s where I’m at. And it’s not like you have to be a Warren Buffett or something to see plenty of stuff can still go wrong.

For starters, even though the European regulators are defending the stress tests, I’m still a little shakey on the whole situation over there. Ireland just chopped Anglo Irish Bank in half! Call me crazy, but a “good bank, bad bank” fix isn’t exactly comforting. Like, do you get excited for someone when they have a tumor removed? Kind of, but it’s hard to pat a guy on the back and say “congratulations” after something like that.

And then the Fed came out today and said the economy’s growing at a slower pace. Economists aren’t too excited about the near future either. And don’t get me started on the Obama Administration’s “Stimulus Part Deux” plan. Look, I’m not like those zealots at the Heritage Foundation who think it’s a shameless sop to organized labor. I’m just not sure it’s going to be enough to engender fast, lasting growth.

Anyway, there’s still this matter of computer trading and the “flash crash.” The Securities and Exchange Commission hasn’t isolated what happened, and let me tell you as someone who experienced it first hand — there was something fishy going on there. I’m really not going to be comfortable going forward unless a few heads roll over that thing. The events of May 6 still give me nightmares; I’m not too embarrased to admit it.

Well, that’s enough ranting. Despite my misgivings, I gotta take the “W” for today. It does feel good. And while we’re ending on a happy note, I’d like to point out that Marty Sullivan, the former CEO of AIG, found a new job today. AIG used to be one of my stocks, but we had to part ways in late 2008 when the company more or less blew up. All water under the bridge now — congrats Marty!

Here’s hoping we can keep this going tomorrow. The weekly jobless numbers are coming out (can’t wait to see those — not!). And Smith & Wesson reports earnings after the close. Gotta love those guys. Bang bang!

Trying to stay positive,

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow Diary: Maybe Those Euro Banks Aren’t So Bad