Across the nation, the newspapers read with grim authority. When referring to the bull market, the past tense is frequently used. The game has changed, they say. The excitement of a few weeks ago has been relegated to the past, it would appear.
Is the game truly over? Certainly, an intense amount of emotion now holds sway in the marketplace. Assurances of yestermonth are long forgotten. Every underpinning of this market is now in question. There's little doubt that the long-awaited fear and worry is upon us. The question is: Does the fear drive us deeper into oblivion or does it signal that the selling is nearly done?
At this point, it's impossible to say. Singed investors, especially individuals, have little stomach for the fight right now. And few big investors show much inclination to step in and play the hero. More shaking out is likely in the coming days and perhaps even weeks. It's a time to be selective, to hunt for seeming bargains and to not get too carried away with every snapback. We're in a grinding fight that will not easily come back to the bulls.
Monday morning will provide an interesting test. Selling continued Friday right to the bell. Some stocks are significantly off their highs, but still trade at historically high multiples. And the palpable sense of fear will provide plenty of resistance for investors on Monday morning. Watch Asia and Europe carefully -- we'll have expanded coverage of both regions leading into Monday's open. With so much heavy selling, whiffs of a turnaround may start to surface early -- but a true turnaround may take some time to develop.
Come Monday's opening bell, we'll have all hands on deck. Our columnists will be writing throughout the day, our reporters will be digging every minute, hunting for any sign. And we'll track the key earnings reports, especially
, this week. Most on Wall Street expect strong corporate profits, but it will take sustained, potently strong news to knock the bears back a pace or two.
In addition, we'll have extra personal finance coverage to help you sort through the mutual funds angle of the recent selling. Who is doing well, who isn't, and where are the best places to put new money to work. We'll have all the bases covered.
For those of you seeking more current research, go to the tools/quotes box on the home page to access Multex-compiled institutional research. They provide the latest skinny from major brokerage houses.
It's a bruising fight right now, but we're in the trenches with you, digging for every morsel of information that will help make you a shrewder investor. In times like these, we're not resting for a second, and we know you're not, either.
L'Etoile du Nord
Dave Kansas is editor-in-chief of TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at