October has been a good month for markets

Traders signal offers in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The index is way up in October, traditionally a month for bears not bulls.

As the reality of difficulties ahead in the latest Eurozone deal is sinking in, investors caught their breath today. The markets were mostly flat.

Back in August, when the stock market seemed to be spiraling toward oblivion, some market watchers kept worrying about October: that cruel month for share prices; the month that took down western civilization in 1929 and scared it in 1987.

But here we are, with just one trading day left in October, it's been the best one for the S&P since 1974 (not to tempt fate or anything).

Ted Weisberg, was at the New York Stock Exchange in that October of 1974. He's still there, a President of Seaport Securities.

Weisberg says in the midst of the 1973 through 1975 recession, staggering inflation and monetary turmoil, there was a surprise October rally. But, Weisberg warns to not get too excited just yet but this October's rally. After the one in 1974, the DOW didn't cross 1,000 for another 12 years.

On a personal note, Weisberg says that October back in 1974 was memorable. That was when, as a 34-year-old, he ponied up $75,000 to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, something that would have cost him $500,000 in 1968.

As for the current markets, Weisberg says on balance they were putting on a pretty good performance today, but he's cautious. Weisberg says Europe's problems are not behind us. And, he says the U.S. is still grappling with its own soft under belly: high unemployment, a weak housing market, and an unclear path ahead for the Congressional Super Committee. It's an oldie but a goody: time will tell.


Also on the show today, a "Saab" story of sorts. It looks like the road ahead for Swedish car manufacturer Saab might just be paved by two Chinese auto companies, Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., with a deal $141-million deal that could mean a comeback for the 60-year-old brand. News that SAAB could get some air back in its tires, and that investors still have eyes on Europe, has the Marketplace Daily Pulse beating faster today.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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