Good time to check your investments - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Good time to check your investments

Wall Street worked Tuesday knowing oil prices have reversed course for the time being by heading lower as the dollar rose against the euro.  The indicators removed some of the volatility of recent days.

The Dow closed up 9.44 points at 12,289.

The Nasdaq closed down 10.52 points at 2,448.

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Nearing the halfway point of the year is a good time to check your investments and, if needed, make adjustments.  But financial experts will often say sometimes your best move is to make no move at all.

This year the Dow is off about 7-1/2%, the S&P and the NASDAQ are off about the same.  If you've tracked your investments such as 401K's or IRA's, then you've probably seen a decline.

Jim Trimpe with Wachovia Securities points to two key reasons.  "Stocks have been going through a gyration where the financial crisis has played a big part.  A lot of the subprime mortgage loans caused a lot of the banking companies to write down their investment portfolios, so that oil prices going up have caused some uncertainty in the marketplace and stocks have declined as a result."

Trimpe says the wild card is oil. It's risen so far so fast it could be nearing a peak.  "Oil will get to a certain level where oil in Canada, shale oil in the western states, supply will come on board that is not currently economically feasible or hasn't been.  So at some point they'll make it more profitable to bring additional supplies and oil will hit a peak at some point."

But even with the down market, there are bright spots.  Trimpe explains, "Going forward, international companies have done very well with this weak dollar, McDonalds just had record earnings recently, there's positive signs amidst all this turmoil."

Another positive is the series of interest rate cuts the federal reserve started last fall.  It typically takes one year before rate cuts begin to effect the markets.  And all investment experts, including Trimpe, preach, think long-term with your investments.  "First of all, I don't pull my money out of the market when the market's bad.  I look at it, I'm buying stocks cheaper when the market goes down, I'm buying 'em cheaper this month than I did last month.  I've been getting some bargains this year.  At some point markets finish a downward cycle and turn back up."

Thinking long-term, ten years ago, the Dow hit an all time high on July 17, 1998 of 9337.  Today the Dow stands three thousand points higher in the 12,300 range, or 25% higher.

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Toyota says it will begin making the Camry hybrid at plants in Australia and Thailand.  The Japanese carmaker says the move is part of its plan to produce green cars around the world.

The Australian and Thai plants are Toyota's second and third overseas production points for the Camry hybrid after its plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.

The only other nation where Toyota manufactures its hybrids besides Japan is China.  With the popularity of hybrids, other automakers are aggressively trying to catch up with Toyota's lead in hybrids.

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What was once western Kentucky's largest hotel, the Executive Inn in Owensboro, abruptly shut down and left its guests scrambling to find lodging.

The 550-room hotel was sold to Marshall Investments of Minneapolis Monday.   A spokesman says Marshall Investments owns the property, not the hotel business.  200 people lost their jobs when the hotel closed.

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