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This Market Summed Up in One Stock: Blyth

By: Herb Greenberg | 09/16/13 - 02:08 PM EDT

Stocks in this article: BTH

(Originally published on Real Money's Columnist Conversation.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you want to understand the current market, look no further than one name: Blyth (BTH).

That's a company that sells candles, but perhaps has been better known over the past year for its stake in Visalus, a multi-level marketing company that appears to be in the process of imploding.

For those who don't follow the story, Visalus yanked its IPO last year for no apparent reason.

Then, quarter-after-quarter, the reason became apparent: In early August Blyth and Visalus both disclosed that Visalus' sales had collapsed. (Visalus was actually kind of sneaky in the way it announced the bad news, saying sales were down 3% sequentially; but if you did the math you saw it was down 47% year-over-year.)

That news caused Blyth's sales to plunge 47% over the course of two weeks.

Now, over the past three weeks, it has done a near round trip, up around 60% from the bottom.

Why? Short squeeze, silly.

Reality: This has nothing to do WITH reality. I urge you to read Cramer's piece from Friday on discipline, if you already haven't.

--Written by Herb Greenberg.

Herb Greenberg, editor of Herb Greenberg's Reality Check, is a contributor to CNBC. He does not own shares, short or trade shares in an individual corporate security.

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