Ask George

George Putnam, one of the country's leading turnaround and distressed investing professionals, answers your investing questions. This is your chance to find out everything you wanted to know--but were afraid to ask--about turnaround investing.

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Does the poor performance of the stock market in May indicate that the U.S. is headed for a new recession?

June 15, 2012

This question comes up frequently when the market takes a dip. While it is true that the stock market does sometimes anticipate a recession, the market is far from an accurate economic indicator. As the Nobel prizewinning economist Paul Samuelson once said, “The stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions.” In fact, in the last few days as I was preparing to write this, the market has already staged a sharp turnaround. Bottom line: don’t try to time the market!

(Question submitted by Richard M.)

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