Business Book Sales and The Dow

light-at-end-of-tunnelI can’t help it. I am starting to feel more optimistic about things than I have in years.  Sure, there are still huge problems with the economy—banks are still in trouble, unemployment is still at a multi-decade high and likely to go higher, and the global economy is still in the throes of a deep recession. But with the Dow now above 9,000 again, I can’t help but feel things are going to get better across the board. That’s because 9,000 feels like only a stone’s throw away from 10,000— which represents a huge psychological barrier that may bring back even shell shocked investors. 

What does this have to do with business book sales? Plenty.

Some years ago, one of the business book buyers of one of the big chains told me if you want to know how business book sales are doing, watch the Dow.  I corrected him by saying that he must be talking about investing books, but he corrected me right back and said “no, Jeffrey, all business books move with the Dow.”  That buyer worked for Border’s Bookstore, and even that store represents a reason for optimism. Border’s got itself into huge financial bind late last year and at one point this year its stock traded for 34 cents a share! Incredible, considering it is the third most important account for business book sales (behind Barnes & Noble and Amazon).  Today the stock has increased more than 1,000 percent from its low,  giving us all hope that the company will survive. 

I never like to say I told you so, but when the Dow was at 6,500 I proclaimed, on this site, that this represented an incredible buying opportunity in the stock market. Unless we see the Dow lose a few thousand points, my prediction, made in the first quarter of this year, will prove to be an auspicious one. As the Dow continues to rise, I believe we will see sales of business books pick up real steam as we head into the fall. But this prediction is dependent on so many factors out of any one’s control. Still, I stick by it. After all—all we need is another thousand points in the Dow— something I believe we will get by late 2009 or early 2010.


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