Updated from 1:06 p.m. EST
Lowest Close in a Dozen Years
(At 5:47 p.m. EST)
Dow Jones Industrial Average
finally got some help from
Bank of America
Unfortunately, nothing else went along, and the index slumped 250.89 points, or 3.4%, to 7114.78 Monday. That's the worst close since May 1997. You read that right.
Citi and BofA, whose shares have been hammered almost daily, were the only gainers on the Dow, rising 9.7% to $2.14 and 3.2% to $3.91, respectively. They were also the most active issues. The only other stock to make a run at a win was
, which ended the day unchanged at $1.77.
were the worst components on a percentage basis, tumbling more than 7% each.
was awful, dropping 5.7% to $8.85.
Really just not a lot of good to report about the day. The decline was the third consecutive setback for the index and the eighth time in the last 10 sessions it has fallen. Since its best-ever closing high in October 2007, the Dow is now lower by a stomach-churning 49.8%. This month the loss stands at 11.1%, and for the year the decrease has widened to 18.9%.
I hate to be a pessimist, but it it's hard to find a reason why this wretched downtrend would end anytime soon and for any measurable stretch.
You want to buy most stocks right now? Maybe they are cheap, but they've been cheap for a long, long time, and they just keep getting cheaper. Good luck if you can afford it.
The Geithner plan wasn't the answer for Wall Street, the stimulus plan hasn't been the solution. The non-nationalization plan was a temporary reprieve for Citi, but is that going to turn things around? Wish I had the answer. Maybe we should try prayer.
The Selloff Worsens
(At 12:58 p.m. EST)
Bad situation developing on the
. Now only two financials are higher as the index continues to deteriorate. Recently, the industrial average was off 158 points to 7207, its low of the day, putting it in a position to have its worst close in more than a decade.
was up 8.2% at $2.11, and
Bank of America
was ahead by 5.8% at $4.01, but those gains were only about half of what they had been.
Just two other stocks were positive,
The worst stock was
, down 5.5% at $8.86 on worries about its
Banks Among the Few Winners
(At 11:40 a.m. EST)
So we have a report that
has come up with a plan that could end in the U.S. government owning as much as 40% of the
. That obviously falls short of full government ownership, but it's also about five times what Washington currently holds.
Even if it isn't a complete
, isn't that getting a little too close for comfort? I think I'm with those who are
to embrace the new development.
However, shareholders have reacted positively, even if it's going to mean diluting today's owners. Citi was the best performer on the
, gaining 11.3% to $2.17.
Bank of America
was up 8.7% to $4.12, and
was better by 3.2% at $20.54.
Aside from those three though, only five more of the Dow's 30 stocks were up Monday.
was one of them, adding 0.8% following an
, however, wasn't as fortunate in the wake of negative comments at Barclays, The firm cut its estimates on the software giant, and its shares were down 2.2%.
Now let's switch gears and talk
. Actually, here's a better idea. Take a look at the video below.
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