Might Want to Wait it Out

If you are looking for some positive cues from the market, forget it, they are not there at this time. The DWO gave up 396 points or close to 4% after recording three straight days of triple-digit declines to end last week.

 Investors are extremely nervous as indicated by the high volatility readings on CBOE options.

 High oil prices to over $78 a barrel driven by the rise of military conflict in the uneasy Middle East drove fears that we could see an escalation in conflict and even higher oil prices.

 Israeli troops and militants in Lebanon are battling it out and there is the fear if more involvement from rogue militant groups in the Middle East and around the world as terrorism threats rise.

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 Clearly, the heightened geopolitical events are impacting world markets, yet, at the same time, markets have to contend with other issues.

 Japan raised interest rates for the first time in a while as global interest rates continue to rise. As I said in past commentaries, the trend of rising interest rates could threaten economies worldwide.

 In the United States, there is already a fear the higher rates could choke off growth and spending in the economy. Early in the second quarter earnings season, we saw giants Alcoa Inc. and General Electric Co. (NYSE/GE) give earnings warnings and weaker than expected earnings.

 The news from General Electric considered a bellwether on the economy is clearly a sign of a potential slowing in the U.S. economy, albeit we will get a better picture this week as the flow of second quarter reports intensifies. We need to see good earnings and guidance; otherwise, markets may continue to sink going forward as investors also harp on geopolitical affairs and higher oil prices.

 As an investor, you may want to wait out this market as the market risk is extremely high.