Portents

I see that mortgage rates are up 79 basis points (more than 3/4 of a point) in just a couple of weeks, imperiling a mess of refinancings. At the same time, I'm sure you've noticed that gasoline has gone up quite sharply, and apparently crude oil topped $72 a barrel yesterday. Meanwhile, on the black swan front, the World Health Organization has declared a swine flu pandemic. And since the S&P 500 hit a low of 666 in March, it's up around 42%. Banks in particular--toxic assets notwithstanding--have been raising capital.

So--feel like buying stocks?

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Daniel Akst

Dan Akst is a journalist, essayist and novelist who wrote three books. His novel, The Webster Chronicle, is based on the lives of Cotton and Increase Mather. More

Dan Akst is a journalist, novelist and essayist whose work has appeared frequently in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Wilson Quarterly, and many other publications.

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

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