What Groundhog Day Says About The Frosty Season Ahead

I’m pretty sure the nation’s favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, knows more about the weather than he does about markets, and I’m not all that sure he knows anything about the weather! In fact, I don’t understand the underground methods of this rodent resident of Gobbler’s Knob at all. It would seem to me that sighting his shadow should indicate a nice sunny day, which in turn should indicate spring is just around the corner. How can he scowl and crawl back into his hole on a day filled with sunshine? If you ask me, he’s somewhat of a weather permabear.

Thus, I am also not sure what it means that this sage marmot reholed himself today just as the Dow fell an ominous 666 points. Can such a cloudy day mean the spring of a rejuvenated economy is almost here? What I am sure of is that Phil got almost as much international coverage for his forecasting abilities as market analysts got today and way more than I ever garner; so, my top-hat goes off to the little feller…. The moral of the story is that, if you’re going to be a permabear of the permafrost, at least be cute, and you’ll still be popular with the people.

Now on to the impending global economic collapse. I can no more tell you what the market is going to do on Monday than I can decipher the fathomless methods of Phil. The market, like Phil, has it own ways, and obviously the first person to understand them all will become the world’s first trillionaire. However, there is one thing that a day like Friday, after a week like this week, can show you; and that is how quickly — even when the whole world looks like economic sunshine — everything can become overcast….

—David Haggith