Updated from 3:07 p.m. EST
Only One Winner
(At 5:25 p.m. EST)
Might be better to look away. This was not a banner session for the
, which saw 29 of its 30 components fall Tuesday, many of them substantially.
was the only stock that managed to climb, gaining 3.7% to $48.24. Otherwise, it was a horror show.
The weakest component was
, down 12.8% to $2.18, but
Bank of America
all also surrendered more than 12%.
Need more evidence of how bad it was?
Do we fully appreciate how staggering some of these moves are? Or have we become numb to these gigantic triple-digit plunges? Remember for a minute that these are the stocks of some of the biggest and best-known -- and at least at one time healthiest -- companies in the world. Just getting trampled. Hard to watch sometimes.
All told the index fell 297.81 points, or 3.8%, to 7552.60, the third consecutive decline and the lowest finish since Nov. 20, the day it hit its worst point in more than five years. Nearly $98 billion in market capitalization was erased.
For the month, the Dow has given back 5.6%, and its loss for 2009 has swelled to almost 14%.
And This Is an Improvement
(At 2:50 p.m. EST)
With about an hour left in the trading session, the
is slightly better than it had been earlier, but it was still down 236 points, or 3%.
As has been the case for pretty much the entire day,
remains the only stock in the green. However,
has fought back and is now unchanged. The other 28 stocks are showing losses.
The decline in
has worsened, and shares of the automaker are down 12.4%, putting the stock at $2.19. It was the biggest percentage loser on the Dow.
Speaking of GM, Jim Cramer has written a column in which he says yet another remaking of the Dow might not be too far off. Check out his thoughts on the possibility of an
for the index.
Let's Take Another Day Off
(At 11:50 a.m. EST)
Reasons why Washington's
won't really work. Who knows if
can be salvaged? Manufacturing is still tanking. More
banks are failing
. Layoffs. Bankruptcies.
Go to any publication covering business and finance, including this one, and these are the headlines you'll see. Any surprise that the
is down more than 3%?
Some piece of good news would be a start. Otherwise, we're just going to have to hope for another Puppycam to take our minds off all the gloom. The economy might not be in a depression, but individual investors can be forgiven if they are. I know I'm not the only one who stopped looking at my retirement plan statements.
What is working today? Safety and fear. Treasury prices were jumping, and gold was up nearly $29 an ounce to $971.
As for the Dow,
was the only winner of the 30 components, adding 3.1%.
were dropping more than 7%.
Bank of America
was losing 8.6%.
was another big drag, worse by 8.8%. I guess there's just not a great deal of optimism about the plan Rick Wagoner and friends have formulated to give to the government. Not that there seems to be a great deal of optimism about anything right now. Ugh. Wake me up when 2010 gets here.
Not Looking So Good
(At 9:15 a.m. EST)
Hope you enjoyed the three-day weekend, because the holiday appears to be over.
The U.S. market looked like it was set to open the shortened trading week with losses as uplifting news was hard to find and overseas markets were sliding.
futures, as was the case with contracts on the
, were weak.
Of course, a series of articles in the past few hours involving the intense pressure
is under to turn around its fortunes weren't helping the situation. The company has planned a news conference for this evening to talk about its
, which investors hope will be enough to convince the government it can find a way to become a profitable enterprise.
Meanwhile, over at
, the world's biggest retailer
topped analysts' profit estimates
for the fourth quarter, though revenue was a little light. The forecast for the fiscal first quarter and the 2010 fiscal year wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly robust either. No real surprise there though considering the turmoil in the economy.
And this is no good.
The New York Post
attempts to bring in new funds by selling some of its assets isn't working out the way CEO Vikram Pandit would like. That's because potential buyers only want the divisions Citi wants to hang onto. The result? Shares of Citi were down more than 7% in the premarket.
Also under pressure in the early going was
Bank of America
. Down 8.4%.
So hang on, because this could be a long day.