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The DOW and ESD, Where will They Be?

Steve Fowler - Fowler Associates
July 23, 2002

We wrote on two occasions about the health of the ESD industry business. See: "How's Your Business? and "Is the ESD Industry Finished?". Now that we have seen the Dow Jones drop from a high of over 11,000 to under 8,000 and industry giant's stock such as Lucent Technologies reduced to "junk" status, we ask again, where's the bottom? I wish I could say that the end is in sight for the DOW or our industry - or should I say, what is left of our industry. When we ask people and companies about their business today, we get either a noncommittal "it's better" or we get, "It's not good." We at the ESD Journal believe the industry is healthier now than it was a year ago but it is still suffering severely. We stand by our article that the industry is in a transition state from a stand alone entity to one integrated into the normal industrial supply chain. ESD is not dead. In fact it is as alive as it has ever been. The methods for the supply of ESD are changing. We are an industry being evolved into the natural chain of items for industrial use such as safety devices and tools.

From our standpoint we can say at the ESD Journal, our readership is not changed in the amount of hits per day. However, our reader profiles have changed. The average reader of the ESD Journal has changed from corporate ESD professionals in companies such as Motorola and HP to persons interested in static from a safety point of view not related to electronics. At Fowler Associates, we have seen our electrostatic business change from being electronic industry dominated to one of a varied interest in static from a safety or ignition point of view. This means we have not seen a drop in business but we have definitely seen a change.

Some of this is due to the consumers afraid to buy discretionary products such as computers and cell phones in an uncertain stock market situation. Many of us who are over 50 have seen our retirement funds diminished or depleted. This is all part of our industry's change. Not demise - just change! Things are getting better. If we know the signs and react to them for this change, we and our businesses will get better also.

In January 2000 I predicted that the DOW would eventually go to 6500 over the next 5 years. I wish I had followed my own prediction then. I cashed out of the market when the DOW was 9600 about a year ago. I got tired of playing the game more than had a premonition. The following is an updated DOW chart with the future as I predicted in 2000 but now updated for 2002. It still looks like 6500 to me. Please do not follow my predictions unless you see what I see in the "charts."

You can see by the chart that if we discount the Dot-Com/ '94 Congress curve, what I call the "Reagan Slope" continues to approach about 6500 in 2003. Is this where the DOW is headed? I believe so but then again I have been wrong before. Think about it. If you wish to comment on the record please send me an email:





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