Oil is dropping like arock. It stands at $117.42 a barrel in New York, 20% below its record high of $147.27 reached July11th. Copper heads for its biggest weekly drop since March and down 12% since June. The dollar is climbing to a five?month high against the Euro putting further pressure on oil and other commodities. And gold fell to an eight?week low in London on speculation that dollar gains will spur gold sales by investors who bought the metal as a hedge against a sinking dollar.  

The broad US economy continues to find ways to grow despite mounting hurdles. Government reports this week of increases in GDP, exports, personal incomes, and new houses sold all defied economists’ estimates. Gains in some cases were significant, while others were increases on a declining scale.

Stock market history can be very useful as a guide in developing portfolio strategy, but it should never be used as a precise predictor of the future.  It repeats itself, just not in the same way or at the same time.  In 1990, the S&P declined over 20% in the weeks following the invasion ofKuwaitbyIraq.  But it did not rally in 1991 until it became clear to investors that the coalition forces would be successful in turning back the Iraqi invaders.  The S&P increased by 18% in just three weeks following the market low on January 15,1991.  This time investors did not even wait for the war to start.  In the past seven days the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials indexes have risen over 5%.  Global markets are reacting positively as well.