Preparing for a Slower Second-Half

Peter Wall of Chase Personal Financial Services sees market gains in 2004's first half. After that, the outlook gets cloudy

The stock market giveth, and the stock market taketh away. After gaining as much as 4% by mid-February, the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is now pretty much back where it started at the beginning of 2004. The main culprit is the nation's crummy jobs outlook, which has investors questioning the strength of the U.S. recovery. But also to blame, especially for recent selling, is the linking of the deadly bombings in Madrid on Mar. 11 to Islamic militants. If one thing's certain about the market, it's that investors hate uncertainty.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.