The stockbroker's plea: Once this week is over, can everybody stop thinking and talking so much about the crash of 1987?
That may be asking quite a bit. The memory of a $1 trillion disaster dies hard.The recollections will certainly be intense on Wednesday, which marks the first anniversary of Black Monday and that day's record 508-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average.
But after that ritual observance is over, say some of Wall Street's optimists, maybe a few of the customers will stop looking backward and start thinking ahead.
For a year since the debacle, the stock market has been beset by "fear of the other shoe dropping," in the words of Jay Donnaruma, an analyst at First Albany Corp. in Albany, N.Y.
"The market reacts to bad news but yawns at the pluses. If a stock isn't a takeover candidate it hardly moves, except when poor results are announced or predicted.
"Cash continues to pile up and mutual funds continue to experience redemptions."
Donnaruma says this atmosphere can be used to build a positive case for buying stocks. "It reminds us of 1982, when all the `smart money' was in money market mutual funds," he says.
Indeed, some market-watchers who have been wary about the outlook for months have lately moved tentatively toward a more positive view.
"Background conditions have improved," say analysts at Standard & Poor's Corp., citing both technical market indicators and recent evidence that economic growth was slowing to a more moderate pace.
But other bears are sticking resolutely to their views, even as the Dow climbed early this month to its highest levels since the crash.