The 2012 year opens with perhaps more uncertainty than any previous year in recent memory. The economies around the world are weak at best, Iran is test firing missiles in the Gulf and it’s an election year in the United States. The weak economy and US election year point to QE3 sometime before midyear not necessarily because it will actually do anything but psychologically it could give the impression the president is trying to do something to get the economy back on track prior to the election. The two basic factors that drive all investments fear and greed will cause more volatility than ever before. With that in mind here are several predictions for the stock market, oil and natural gas, precious metals and commodities. Keep in mind the volatility will likely cause a larger number of short term swings of +/-3-5% such as the DOW jumping +/-300 points at a time which has driven many small investors away from the markets.
Chart show the DOW in another tight range for the year of between 10,836 and 13,200(more). I expect 2012 is going to be one of the most volatile economic years in recent history. The US dependence on foreign Oil Price is a wild card in any type of economic recovery. Oil prices over $120 per barrel will have a significant dampening effect on any type of recovery.