Down more than 1,000 before closing Monday down 588. Up 441 points before closing Tuesday down 205 points. You can get whiplash following the stock market the last few days, panic watching CNBC and your smartphone alerts, and indigestion sneaking a peek at your 401(k) account. Don't do it.
For the record, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are down for the year and in correction territory. On the bright side, we're not in China. Or Greece.
Watching the stock market and predicting its direction, for most of us, is like waiting for a hurricane. In the long term you can prepare to ride out the storm. But in the short term, you can't do anything about its direction or make it go away. And, knock on wood, with another three months left in hurricane season, things usually work out and disaster is avoided.
Of course, some Floridians are remembering the anniversary this week of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Or the four hurricanes that hit Florida in six weeks in August and September 2004. Or the 2008 economic meltdown.
Relax. Tropical Storm Erika is way out there in the Atlantic. This is not 2008, and the ups and downs of the stock market will play out. Experts say those who remain patient and avoid rash decisions about retirement accounts and other investments will weather the storm. So stay the course — and enjoy the cheap gas while it lasts.