Here's to a better second half. We could use it.
You've heard the superlatives. The market has had its worst first half since 1970. Think men on the moon and bell bottoms, and GM shares trading higher than they are now. Ouch.
The Dow lost 14.4 percent; the S&P lost 12.8 percent and Nasdaq lost 13.5 percent so far this year. Dare we say it couldn't get much worse.
The second half looks to be more of the same but many strategists still think stocks will end the year higher. Just find a way to navigate those twin terrors of the credit crunch and rising oil prices.
Let's look first at the year's winners. Of course, one of the best - energy stocks, up 8 percent for the first half (17 percent for the quarter) and technology stocks, up 13 percent for the year but 2.3 percent for the quarter. Oil services were a big winner in the energy sector, up 17 percent for the year. Gold stocks in that period are up 13 percent.
Losers? You guessed it. The financial sector was the worst. It washed out with a 30 percent loss for the year so far, and it's still heading lower.