6 Key Stock Market Indicators to Watch

In the short run, the stock market is a voting machine, said Benjamin Graham, considered by many to be the ultimate investing sage.

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In the short run, the stock market is a voting machine, said Benjamin Graham, considered by many to be the ultimate investing sage. But in the long run, it’s a weighing machine -- over time a company’s shares will command the price its business prospects deserve, measured by such basic yardsticks as profit growth, balance-sheet strength and management vision.

For much of 2011, the stock market behaved like a gigantic voting booth. And the effects have been dizzying.

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Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.