What is this rally about?
The U.S. equity market rally in 2006 is a little troubling, but of course I'll take it. Why troubling? Well, what's changed? It's just a new year, with portfolios to adjust without regard to tax issues and year end reporting. Japan, emerging markets, and intl. small cap funds have continued to move up dramatically to offset the few days of softness on the NYSE. But some of this strength could be counterintuitive. Could it be that the U.S. market is reflecting what the fixed income market is saying. A mild recession is coming. Hmm, what's that. U.S. equities are global financial instruments and players, with much of their revenues and influence judged on a global scale. They can be valued on this global scale, be it Google, JPMorganChase, or Proctor and Gamble. Perhaps there is still significant value right here among these global firms. Could be, but I sure hope that this is not a fool's rally. Anyway, I wouldn't spend the last week's gains. Returns from non U.S. investments in 2005 and now have made a big difference in any portfolio lucky enough to have them, and that may continue to be a balance this year.