Investors brace for a jam-packed September

September 1, 2013 • Business

FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2012 file photo, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the Senate Budget Committee. As August 2013 wrapped up, trading desks and investment firms looked warily at the lineup of events in September and warned clients of turbulence ahead. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Imagine gathering nearly everything that has rattled investors’ nerves over the past four years: the European debt crisis, fights over the U.S. government’s budget and moves by the Federal Reserve. Now imagine all of them crammed into one month.

That month? It’s September.

“Oh, it’s definitely going to be fun,” says Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at the money management firm Glenmede in Philadelphia.

As August wrapped up, trading desks and investment firms looked warily at the lineup of events slated for September and warned clients of turbulence ahead.

The Fed’s September meeting is when many on Wall Street think the central bank will begin winding down its massive bond-buying program. German voters will decide whether Chancellor Angela Merkel gets another term as the leader of Europe’s largest economy. And Congress will be on a tight deadline to pass a spending bill before the month ends, a process which could easily turn into another brawl over raising the government’s borrowing limit.

Each item on the calendar could cause big swings in daily trading. And collectively, they could make an often dangerous month for the market even more volatile.

Then there is the wildcard. President Barack Obama on Saturday said that the U.S. should take military action in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack that killed hundreds in Syria.

Obama, however, said that he would seek congressional approval before any military strike. Congress is scheduled to reconvene Sept. 9.

“Right now, we’re probably in the lull that precedes the storm,” says Mark Luschini, the chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Pittsburgh.

September has often been a cruel month for the stock market, which gives it a superstitious power for some Login to read more

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