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World markets still on a wild ride

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Within the first 10 minutes of trading on Wall Street this morning the Dow fell 200 points. It’s come back quite a bit since then but it looks like the selling trend isn’t over yet. Hugh Johnson is chairman of Johnson Illington Advisors. Welcome.

HUGH JOHNSON: Thank you very much, nice to be with you.

THOMAS: What are some of the factors being played out in the market right now?

JOHNSON: Well the one thing that’s it’s not is the economic numbers which are just fine. It’s really ongoing nervousness or jitteriness after the sharp declines that we saw on Tuesday. And of course we saw the European stock markets decline fairly sharply this morning and that really put everybody on edge.

THOMAS: So what did it mean that it seemed to bounce back yesterday?

JOHNSON: I think it shows there’s at least some stability, it shows there’s at least some optimism. Some investors, large institutional investors, are looking at the declines that we’ve seen not as a time to jump off the ship but as a time for opportunity. So there is still some ongoing optimism in the outlook for the U.S. economy and earnings and that shows up when you get rebounds or bounces in the stock market.

THOMAS: Any idea how long it’ll take for this to play out?

JOHNSON: These things are, really the issue is confidence and that confidence gets rebuilt only after, let’s say a week or two of stable markets, stable-to-improving markets.

THOMAS: And you say this is all being triggered by what’s happening in the Asian markets?

JOHNSON: All of the markets around the world as we now know are very interconnected, so a decline in one market, even if it’s in Asia, will ripple through all of the markets around the world. It’ll be transmitted essentially through the mechanism of psychology or fear. And I think it’s primarily that that’s really touched off the selling in places like Brazil, Europe and the U.S.

THOMAS: Thank you so much Hugh.

JOHNSON: You’re welcome.

THOMAS: Hugh Johnson, chairman of Johnson Illington Advisors.

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