Investment Commentary – October 7th, 2015
Market Indices as of Market Close October 7th, 2015
Dow 16,912 (-5.11 % YTD)
S&P 500 1,996 (-3.06% YTD)
NASDAQ   4,791 (1.16% YTD)
Global Dow 2,379 (52 week low 2,203 /2,644 high)
10-year Treasury 2.07 (52 week low 1.64/high 2.50)
Gold $1,146 (52 week low $1,074/high $1,310)
Oil $48.11 (52 week low $38.51/high $85.20)

Dow posts best win streak since July as U.S. stocks end higher

U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday as a rally in health-care stocks helped propel stocks to gains during a shaky trading session. Analysts said that investors are still unwinding bets that stocks will fall further — a crowded trading strategy that has produced big intraday-trading swings. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.80% closed 15.90 points, or 0.8%, higher at 1,995.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.73% added 122.10 points, or 0.7%, to 16,912.29. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.90% ended the day up 42.79 points, or 0.9%, at 4,791.15.

BlackRock Calls for Halting Stock Market to Avoid Volatility

BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest asset manager, has its own remedy for days of extraordinary volatility in the U.S. equity market: Shut it down.

Among the fund company’s suggestions: The entire $23 trillion market should automatically come to a halt if a certain number of shares stop trading, giving traders time to regroup on a wild day, according to BlackRock. Tweaking the rules on halts and making all stock openings electronic are among other ideas in a paper published Wednesday by the firm.

BlackRock’s proposals come as money managers talk with market-makers and stock exchanges to identify what happened amid the market turmoil on Aug. 24 and how to prevent a repeat. Trading that day was disrupted by delayed openings, more than 1,000 halts, and wild price swings. The fund company believes that many of its recommendations can be adopted with a minimum of fuss.

“They’re all very doable changes without a whole lot of magic,” Barbara Novick, co-vice chairman of BlackRock, said in an interview. “I don’t think they’re going to be contentious. I don’t think they’re going to be difficult.”

This day in Business History: October 7th 1913 Moving Assembly Line at Ford

For the first time, Henry Ford’s entire Highland Park, Michigan automobile factory is run on a continuously moving assembly line when the chassis–the automobile’s frame–is assembled using the revolutionary industrial technique. A motor and rope pulled the chassis past workers and parts on the factory floor, cutting the man-hours required to complete one “Model T” from 12-1/2 hours to six. Within a year, further assembly line improvements reduced the time required to 93 man-minutes. The staggering increase in productivity affected by Ford’s use of the moving assembly line allowed him to drastically reduce the cost of the Model T, thereby accomplishing his dream of making the car affordable to ordinary consumers.

The views presented are not intended to be relied on as a forecast, research or investment advice and are the opinions of the sources cited and are subject to change based on subsequent developments. They are not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy.