NEW YORK (
) -- The markets sank Thursday as investors feared Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on Friday may come up short of expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 170.89, or 1.51%, to 11, 149.82. The
dropped 18.33, or 1.56%, to 1159.27. The
slid 48.06, or 1.95%, to 2419.63.
Steve Grasso said on
's "Fast Money" TV show attributed the market's decline to traders shorting the German DAX. He said there is real fear that a depression may occur in Europe.
For a breakout of some stocks from a recent "Fast Money" TV show, check out Dan Fitzpatrick's "3 Stocks I Saw on TV."
3 Stocks I Saw on TV
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Guy Adami said the market didn't get a lift from Warren Buffett's investment in
Bank of America
because the Buffett's move was not so much a vote of confidence as it was a move to pull the bank up. He said the terms of Buffett's deal were much more favorable than what ordinary investors would have gotten.
Karen Finerman agreed, saying Buffett didn't have to go into the open market and buy the preferred. She questioned the deal, saying it's unclear whether the $5 billion is going to count as capital. She said what BofA got from the deal was the Buffet imprimatur.
Pete Najarian said the deal was all about public perception. He said Buffett had done this before when he came to the rescue of
Doug Kass, a RealMoney Silver contributor at
, criticized the deal, saying Buffett fleeced BofA CEO Brian Moynihan in a deal that will result in a heavy cost of capital to the bank. He said the $5 billion of preferred shares will cost almost 11% a year, while the bank borrows at the interbank market at nearly zero. "It's ludicrous."
Kass said Moynihan either lied about what he said earlier about not needing capital or he's stupid for doing the deal. "This is a company that buys high and sells low."
Kass said he was investing in other financials including
PNC Financial Services
Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF
Brian Kelly also was critical of the deal, saying Moynihan is on his way out.
A day after Steve Jobs' dramatic resignation announcement, Najarian said
is still in great shape with a great management team, "great innovative folks," and a product line going out three years. He said Jobs, as chairman, is still overseeing the operation.
Najarian said it would be worthwhile to check out
, a beaten-down stock with close ties to Apple.
Grasso said Wednesday's events have already been priced into Apple's stock. Adami said
looked good from a valuation standpoint and dividend.
New York Times
media reporter David Carr characterized the loss of Jobs to a secular religion losing its deity. He said questions didn't come up when Jobs ran the show. He said the "muscle" is still at Apple but that what will be missing will be "the decider," "the chief on top."
He agreed with the panel that the news had already been baked into the stock for some time. He said the investors have had a good look at Tim Cook. He said the critical point will come several years down the road to see whether Apple can come up with a leader like Jobs who can read the minds of consumer before they even know what they want.
With gold selling off for the third consecutive session, options trader Mike Khouw said there's been a pronounced shift toward buying more puts. He said the jury is still out whether gold is in for a major reversal because the declines have been orderly. "It hasn't fallen the way silver did."
Najarian noted how well the junior gold miners traded today and said that investors were buying protection and making upside moves.
With Hurrican Irene bearing down on the East Coast, Gregory Locraft, executive director with Morgan Stanley, said his company's research shows that it would be a good time to get into insurer names.
According to Locraft, the research shows that the third quarter is the best one for returns of property casualty stocks, with September the best month of any month. He said it appears the losses from Irene would be manageable.
His recommendations? He liked primary insurers like
In the volatility playbook segment, Nicholas Colas, Converge Group's chief market strategist, noted an explosion of implied volatility in sectors such as high-yield bonds, financials, industrials and gold.
Martin Fridson, of BNP Paribas Asset Management, said the message from the high-yield bond markets is that there's a 62% probability of a recession. He said that contrasts to the much optimistic attitude of investors in the equities markets.
Fridson said there are real concerns about the banking system in Europe and the future of the euro.
From the tweet the street segment, Kelly opined on what Bernanke could say Friday. He said he could have the
shift the buying on the curve and force people to take more risk. Or he said the FDIC could raise deposit insurance from $250,000 to $1 billion to help stabilize the financial system. Khouw said he didn't see how such a higher limit would help.
In the final moves, Kelly said he was buying some shares of
iShares Barclays 20+ year Treasury Bond ETF
ahead of Bernanke's speech. Khouw liked
. Adami liked
, while Finerman advised doing nothing before Bernanke's speech. Najarian liked the
--Written by David Tong in San Francisco.
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