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The past week was all about superlatives. Best of all, the superlatives were all headed in the right direction.
It really didn't matter that so much of that direction was dictated by rumor after rumor. People who were smart enough to do the stupid thing and not take profits when common sense dictated otherwise were well rewarded on paper.
With the close of trading on Friday we were hearing all kinds of statistics centering around the market's performance this October.
By all accounts we had seen the single best performing month since 1618, or in meteorological terms "ever since records have been kept"
It was that good. You actually had to go back to when Native Americans were occupying Wall Street to have had as good a month as we'd just experienced.
Even the old adage "buy on the rumor and sell on the news" couldn't bring the market down after the rumor of breaking an impasse over the Greek financial crisis came into being.
At least to a degree, as today the Greek Prime Minister announced that the final details of the debt agreement will be put to a referendum. So, that certainly makes it a done deal.
What could possibly go wrong?
But in October jut about everything went right, as long as your standard is that you need at least a 17% gain.
Shorts were reportedly being squeezed, talk of IPO's was beginning to burn up the airwaves and people were clicking on the ads on this site.
That final indicator seems to be a very accurate one. People click on financial related ads when they're feeling good about multiplying the wealth. When the market is going down no one in their right mind clicks on an "Open an E*trade Account" ad.
Even Groupon was looking rehabilitated and in some corners was being compared to LinkedIn, with regard to the reception its IPO would be expected to receive.
By some measure, those all may be sufficient to mark a near term market top. And so, today, perhaps befitting the fact that it's Halloween, the market just gave a middle finger to those superlatives and proceeded to lose almost 2.3%.
The diagnoses for the drastic response today came quickly.
“Risk aversion is once again taking hold in markets,” said Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. strategists in a market commentary following this anti-climatic end of the month day.