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.

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