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Volatility Continues As Earnings Reports Create Excitement And Despair

Volatility reigned in January on elevated volume as stock investors shifted their focus from global events to U.S. earnings reports, which have ranged from amazing (e.g., Apple) to crushing (e.g., Microsoft). Although the earnings reports have brought plenty of surprises, the volatility is no surprise, as I and many other market commentators predicted for the new year. Still, although the road may be bumpier than the past couple of years, the path of least resistance appears to be up, and the main question is whether small caps and emerging markets will make an attempt to regain past glories or if U.S. large caps must continue to carry the…