I have been holding double-digit cash positions in most equity client accounts for much of 2010 and this week I began allocating some of that cash back into the market. We finally got a 10% correction, after more than a year without one. The market seems to be obsessed with Europe and the Euro exchange rate right now, but honestly we have to keep things in perspective. Most U.S. companies (excluding the large multinationals of course) are not going to be directly impacted by troubles in Greece and neighboring areas. The entire country of Greece has the same population as the state of Ohio, so that really keeps things in perspective, for me anyway.
Accordingly, I do think U.S. stock prices have come down enough in recent weeks to warrant some bargain hunting. I invested about half of my clients’ cash balances this week. It is quite conceivable that the market tests the intra-day low reached on the crazy flash trading/1,000 down day earlier this month (1,065 on the S&P 500) and finds some support there. The sentiment is pretty ugly right now, so although I am still keeping some cash onhand in case of further weakness, I do think it is time to nibble at good values.
My suggestion for investors who share those feelings would be to make a shopping list. Come up with a handful of stocks you would like to own and pick a price that you really feel good about. As the market gyrates, you may be surprised which companies you can grab at very attractive price points. If you are a long term investor, try not to panic. There really are some great deals out there right now, as the S&P 500 has fallen below 1,100 and into correction territory.