Another Crazy Week in the Markets

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Investors may have gotten seasick in November. While the Dow Jones (INDEX: ^DJI) closed the month up a ho-hum 0.7%, the month featured volatile swings as investors panicked and sold off stocks amid worries in Europe and then piled back into the markets when central banks promised salvation.

Here's a look at the crazy conditions that drove November's frenzied market:


Overall, the Dow ended the past week up a massive 7%, its best weekly gain since 2009. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) closed up 7.4%. The week started out boosted by positive retail news, got another huge boost upon news of a new unified central-bank effort to crimp down on credit worries, and closed with unemployment shrinking to 8.6%. In between, there were several negatives, including a bankruptcy filing from American Airlines parent AMR (NYS: AMR) and Research In Motion's (NAS: RIMM) warning of weak results and writing down tablet inventory. For this week, at least, investors were willing to overlook those woes as company-specific problems.

Looking ahead, the important thing to remember is that actions like central-bank intervention have been common throughout the financial crisis over the past three years. If you think the exuberance of this week is built to last, I have some swampland in Florida to sell you. In today's market, volatility is the coin of the realm. So enjoy the gains while they last, but remember that the uncertain future of Europe is far from resolved, and the market's hyperkinetic swings aren't going anywhere soon.

At the time this article was published Neither Eric Bleeker nor Dari FitzGerald owns shares of any companies listed above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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