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Market Commentary - September 16, 2008

World stock markets have sold off on the news of intensified financial pressures over the weekend on Wall Street.  International financial crises have happened several times before and as the chart below shows, the initial losses do not have to have long lasting consequences to US equity investors.  The table displays the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s returns approximately six months after the five major financial crises over the past two decades.  This includes the US market’s one day drop of approximately 25% in October of 1987.  Most experts point to the growing and timely coordination of reactions by the global bankers and government officials for the positive results.  The actions taken by US institutions over the past year to get out ahead of the housing-induced US credit crisis have been reinforced by foreign central banks. As witnessed by last weekend’s actions, the Federal Reserve and US Treasury Department have been especially creative and forceful in helping maintain the confidence of worldwide investors. Reduced interest rates, new access to government loans, and coordinated buyouts of problem companies have all been examples of proactive involvement by global banks.  By all reports, governmental bodies are ready to provide continuing leadership and if appropriate, financial support to prevent serious longer term effects to the global financial markets.

Six-Month Financial Crises Period Returns

 

Event

 

Reaction Dates

Immediate
DJIA
% Gain/Loss

DJIA %Gain/Loss
126 Market Days After
Reaction Dates

Financial Panic of ‘87

10/02/87-10/19/87

-34.2

15.0

U.K. Currency Crisis

9/14/92-10/16/92

-6.0

9.2

Russia, Mex., Orange Cnty.

10/11/94-12/20/94

-2.8

20.7

Asian Stock Market Crisis

10/07/97-10/27/97

-12.4

25.0

Russian LTCM Crisis

8/18/98-10/08/98

-11.3

33.7

Average Return

 

-13.3%

20.7%

Source: Ned Davis Research 9/08

History suggests that short-term financial crises often present timely investment opportunities. Even longer-term investors can take advantage of market disruptions to enhance overall performance in the eventual rebound that always comes.

Prepared by:

Martin J. Cosgrove, CFA, Director of Investment Research
Research Department/ING Advisors Network

The views are those of Martin Cosgrove, Director of Investment Research, Research Department, ING Advisors Network, and should not be construed as investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance information is historical and not indicative of future results. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. Please consult your financial advisor for more information.

While diversification may help reduce volatility and risk, it does not guarantee future performance.

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