An old Wall Street saying has it that the markets can handle good and bad times, but that “the stock market abhors uncertainty.” The origin of the saying is unknown, but it is cited in print from at least the 1950s.
A variant of the phrase is: “Money runs from uncertainty.”
20 July 1952, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “March of Finance” by Harold Walsh, pg. B6:
Nature abhors a vacuum, but with no greater intensity than the stock market abhors uncertainty. Behavior of average stock prices during the three or four .months preceing elections makes a strong case for the market’s…
24 July 1963, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, “Your Money’s Worth” by Sylvia Porter, pg. 13, col. 1:
A first reason is uncertainty, for the stock market abhors uncertainty as nature abhors a vacuum and there is plenty of uncertainty around now—about tax cuts, strikes, the new government report on the securities market, Soviet-U.S. relations, increases in interest rates, how long this economic advance will last, etc.
29 July 1963, Middlesboro (KY) Daily News, “Wall Street Chatter,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Indicator Digest says the market abhors uncertainty and it is questionable if it can withstand any further adverse news.
20 March 1966, New York (NY) Times, “Inflation And Wall St.” by Eileen Shanahan, pg. 213:
WASHINGTON, March 19—Among the many adages of Wall Street, there is this one: Money runs from uncertainty.
24 July 1966, Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, MS), “Stocks Went Down With The Bad News,” pg. 6, col. 2:
It is a Wall Street adage that money runs from uncertainty and there was enough uncertainty this week to stifle two summer rallies.
7 November 1968, New York (NY) Times, “Nixon Keeps Mum On Economic Team” by H. Erich Heinemann, pg. 65:
The financial markets, not the least, abhor uncertainty, and they want to know the names of the men who will have responsibility in the Nixon Administration.
8 January 1969, New York (NY) Times, “Rate Rise Spurs Drop in Markets” by Vartanig G. Vartan, pg. 63:
The stock market, which abhors uncertainty, took a sharp drop yesterday as a result of the unexpected increase in the prime rate to a historic high of 7 per cent.
19 March 1969, New York (NY) Times, “Stock Prices Rise in Brisk Trading” by Vartanig G. Vartan, pg. 61:
The market traditionally abhors uncertainty, and the increase in the prime rate, when it finally came, at least eradicated one massive cause of investor concern.
30 October 1972, New York (NY) Times, “Why Market Snubbed Peace; Failure to Rally Attributed to Uncertainty” by Vartanig G. Vartan, pg. 47:
It is an adage the stock market abhors uncertainty.
10 November 1975, The Advocate, “Bankers talk on N.Y.,” pg. 7, col. 2:
John G. Gelbach, chairman and chief executive of Central National Bank, said there is an adage that money runs from uncertainty, adding: “If New York goes bankrupt, other cities may follow.”
Keeping Them Guessing
Monday, Nov. 14, 1977
The economy is strong, but businessmen fret about Carter’s policies
According to an old adage on Wall Street, the stock market can deal with good news and bad, but it cannot tackle uncertainty. Last week the market was coping with little but uncertainty, most of it emanating from the Oval Office.
20 October 1979, New York (NY) Times, “Stocks and Bonds Drop Sharply Again” by John H. Allen, pg. 32:
It is bedrock Wall Street lore that the market abhors uncertainty.
26 April 1980, New York (NY) Times, “Stocks Show Moderate Gains Despite Rescue Failure in Iran” by Vartanig G. Vartan, pg. 36:
A favorite Wall Street adage is that the market abhors uncertainty. Why, then, amid the confusion engendered by the rescue attempt, did stock prices hold up so well?
Investment Psychology Explained:
Classic Strategies to Beat the Markets
By Martin J. Pring
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons
There is an old saying that the market abhors uncertainty. This adage makes sense, because the market is—as you now know—effectively the sum total of the attitudes, hopes, and fears of each participant.
Buy the Rumor, Sell the Fact:
85 Maxims of Wall Street and What They Really Mean
By Michael Maiello
Published by McGraw-Hill Professional
The Markets Abhor Uncertainty
Pixar’s coming attractions
Will Pixar forge a new deal with Disney? What’s it working on after “Cars?” Investors want answers.
November 3, 2005: 12:56 PM EST
By Paul R. La Monica, CNN/Money senior writer
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – Wall Street hates uncertainty. It’s one of those investing aphorisms that you hear time and time again.
But if that adage is really true, you wouldn’t know it by looking at Pixar.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Saturday, October 18, 2008 • Permalink