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Hurricane Sandy Moving Out, Hurricane Non-Farm Payrolls Rolling In

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The numbers released Friday could have a huge impact on next week's election and the markets.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Shout out and hearts out to all impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The markets -- including the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) -- handled this blind-side hit well for a change. Score one for the financial industry -- it's about time.

No rest for the weary, though, as economic numbers will be coming in full-throttle for the next few days. The biggest headline will be the NFP (non-farm payroll) number on Friday morning. Whether it's up, down, or flat, the markets will react. How? Nobody knows. My advice: Keep your seatbelt on.

The most important news will be the US presidential election next Tuesday. What looked like a "Ohio Decision" has morphed into a six to eight state toss-up. Way too tight to call and like I said earlier, keep the seatbelt on… and keep it tight.

Click on the image below for specific comments about each of the 24 worries facing investors this week, or scroll down for a text-only version of this column and some tips about how to use "Lloyd's Wall of Worry" as an investing tool.




Lloyd's Wall of Worry - Text only

QE: You want monetary stimulus to end? Just find a way to get fiscal policy started.

US ECONOMY: Hurricane Sandy delivers a misery multiplier effect. Let's hope it delivers the same multiplier effect to recovery spending when it kicks in.

UNEMPLOYMENT:
Last non-farm payroll before the US presidential election comes this Friday for those of you who didn't know this. And for the same people, there was also a hurricane in the US recently too.

INVESTOR SENTIMENT: Astronomers have now found 33 Earth-like planets within 950 light years of Earth. Unsurprisingly, they all hate the equity markets there, too.

HOUSING CRISIS: Closing in on 900,000 housing starts in the US with the magic 1,000,000 number in sight. Sure would like to take this perennial worry off the Wall.

EUROPEAN ECONOMY: Lots of discussion about the EU Budget. Keep talking folks and there won't be anything left to spend.

THE EUROPEAN UNION: The Troika -- the EU, the ECB, and the IMF -- are maintaining a vigilant eye on the financial picture in Europe. Begging the question, who's watching the Troika?

SOVEREIGN DEBT: Greece debt dropping like a rock as it approaches 16%. This rock may just turn out to be a diamond.

SPAIN: Biding their time. Or perhaps I should say, biding everyone else's time.

VOLATILITY: Not enough for the HFTs, too much for the rest of us. "Is everybody happy?!"

HIGH FREQUENCY TRADING:
Lloyd: How'd you fare in Hurricane Sandy?
HAL: There was a hurricane?
Lloyd: Yeah, a big one. Got a big US election coming up, too.
HAL: Election? I keep things on a moment-to-moment, need-to-know basis.
Lloyd: Have I ever asked you where your on/off switch is?

CHINA: Sure could use a "fat finger" moment here hitting the stimulus button.

STOCK MARKET TECHNICALS: Ready to break or ready to sling-shot higher. Sleep tight.

GLOBAL ECONOMY: When the potential benefits from a hurricane rebuild is all we have to look forward to, we got problems.

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: This just in from the Mayor of Murphy's Lawville: "What if it's a tie?"

JAPAN: Employment index drops to July 2009 level. Time to pull the parachute rip cord if there is one.

THE CLIFF: Rockets to the top of the "10 Most Dangerous Cliff Jumps on Earth" list.

GREECE: More austerity, more protests, more broken plates.

DRAGHI: "Action, action, we want action, A-C-T, I-O-N…."

ITALY: Monti seeing improvements in their economy within a few months. Still awaiting the official definition of "few."

EARNINGS SEASON: "Saving nickels saving dimes, working 'til the sun don't shine, looking forward to happier times…"

GOLD: Rumors starting that some deeply indebted countries -- take your pick -- may use their yellow metal stashes to reduce debt burdens. Shhh, don't tell them it's not a currency.

OIL PRICES:
Economic barometer predicting more global economic slowing ahead? "Slip slidin' away…"

PMIs: Here's the manufacturing PMI line-up starting Wednesday night – China, US, Europe. Sure wish we had a clean-up hitter.


What Is Lloyd's Wall of Worry?
by Lloyd Khaner

Welcome to my at-a-glance guide to the issues facing investors this week -- a unique tool for traders and money managers.

Typically the term "wall of worry" refers to the entire body of concerns influencing stock market action. When the wall is high, meaning the market is nervous, stocks tend to get cheaper.

This wall of worry is even more specific. Every week I list the exact concerns in the marketplace and use the list to help me make buying and selling decisions. As I like to say, "Buy fear, sell cheer."

In other words, once the the wall rises above 15 blocks, start looking for deals. If the worry count sinks below 10, consider selling; prices have likely peaked.
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