Quiet Wall Street summer coming to an end

After several years of summer drama on Wall Street, the first August in a while without a worrisome a bailout or some other economic calamity is drawing to a close. But vacationing traders should prepare for a wild September.

Stacey Vanek Smith: This time last year, the stock market was not in a good place. The news was all about the downgrade of U.S. debt and worries about the markets.

This year, we're still experiencing some of those worries but the markets are in a good place. The S&P 500 hit a four-year high this week. Marketplace's Heidi Moore reports.


Heidi Moore: For the past four years, you couldn’t find a Wall Street trader at his desk in August. It was probably because the brutal market had many of them hiding in the fetal position. But now traders are missing for another reason: vacation.  

Bob Lang, an options trader and strategist, is feeling a little lonely.

Bob Lang: You know, a lot traders out there, they’re M.I.A., they’re missing in action. They’re not playing in this environment.

It’s a big change from last year, when anxiety and drama were the default settings for Wall Street.

Howard Lindzon manages a $100 million hedge fund.

Howard Lindzon: That’s what Wall Street is. It’s just a constant battle of worrying and chasing and panicking.

But Lindzon says this year is different. Any money managers on the beach are missing out on a booming stock market. Major stocks like Apple, Google and Amazon have been rocketing up in value.

Lindzon: So I think when hedge funds and mutual fund managers come back from their vacations and from this quiet summer, they’re going to go, “Wait! How do I catch up?”

Many traders are actually dreading the next few months, says Daryl Jones. He’s the director of research at Hedgeye Risk Management.  

Daryl Jones: The thing that’s happening here is that people are confused about the future even if in the short term they’re feeling okay.  

No wonder. Watch for the election, the federal budget, more economic stimulus, and the European crisis. Enjoy that sand while you can.

In New York, I’m Heidi Moore for Marketplace.

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.

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