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The Week Ahead: With stocks up and down, long-term strategy still best

Stocks slammed.

Market roars back.

Dow plunges.

A modern day stock investor has to learn to drown out the hyperbolic headlines and the constant prattle necessary for the financial industrial media complex to exert its presence.

Understandably, the story out of the stock market in the past week is concerning. Big losses followed by big gains followed by bigger losses is just the kind of money roller-coaster ride that keeps more Americans from investing in stocks. The volatility experienced in the stock market this week is tough to stomach for investors of any size. It cements the modern market's reputation as a fixed game played by billionaires with super-sized egos and ultra-fast computers.

What's changed since the S&P 500 stock index hit all time highs less than one month ago? Hundreds of thousands of Americans have found jobs and gasoline prices have fallen to their lowest level in more than a year. That's good news for the economy. While wage growth is slow, inflation is low which preserves purchasing power.

What will change in the new week? Probably not much. The calendar is dominated by quarterly financial reports from a who's who of Cor

porate America: CSX, Intel, J.P. Morgan, NetFlix and General Electric. Those companies will update investors on their fortunes, which are tied more to the underlying economy rather than anxiety of the price of their stocks.

CEOs are quick to distance themselves from the price of their company's stock.

When asked about their stock performance, often they respond by saying they are focused on long-term growth, or executing their strategy, or both.

That's an unexaggerated outlook.

Tom Hudson, financial journalist, hosts "The Sunshine Economy" on WLRN-FM in Miami, where he is the vice president of news. He is the former co-anchor and managing editor of "Nightly Business Report" on public television. Follow him on Twitter @HudsonsView.

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