TSC Weekender: The Market Gets Mauled

Plus, Pulse takes Iridium's satellite solution to the next level and Idiot Box exposes the syndicate.
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Take out the valium and mix up a vodka martini -- dirty, extra olives. After a week like this, let's all get a little tight. We spent Friday evening emulating our favorite proxies by lying face down in the gutter; Saturday, we relaxed in a darkened quiet room. But! There's more to be discovered with this market than simply the depth of one's masochism. TSC's coverage dissected what was happening, why and when. Of course, what would a crappy week be if it weren't followed by the IRS's tax filing deadline? Saturday's Personal Finance Focus helps all those grasshoppers out there fumbling with their forms today. And Sunday tune in for this weekend's Streetside Chat, with Robert Wilson -- the kind of investor you would be if you could.

The Bear Clause

This week the bears that have been haunting market campgrounds for the past few weeks charged out of the woods, scattering what few happy campers remained.

The week started off ominously as Friday's

Nasdaq

rally collapsed on

analyst warnings about tech. Big names Richard McCabe of

Merrill Lynch

and Christine Callies, U.S. investment strategist at

Credit Suisse First Boston

, both said early Monday that the previous week's downturn signaled a corrective trend in tech. Their words helped to send the Nasdaq down 258 points by the end of the day, to 4188.20.

The bad news kept coming. Wednesday morning

Goldman Sachs

analyst Rick Sherlund cut his March quarter revenue outlook for

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

-- news that took down Microsoft and other big techs, deflating an early bounce. By closing, the Nasdaq had screamed down 7.06% to 3769.63, a 25.3% drop from its March 10 closing high, pushing it officially into

bearish territory. Even the

Dow

, which has been playing ego to Nasdaq's id since the beginning of the year, pulled up stakes in the final hour of trading that day.

Friday, Wall Street began to bleed anxiety after the

Consumer Price Index came out hotter than expected, fanning fears that the

Fed

is far from easing off of its interest-rate tightening cycle. Not even a wave of stellar first-quarter earnings could stem the tide. The Nasdaq and the Dow continued to sink into the red as they seesawed between rallies and selloffs in search of a bottom.

By late afternoon Friday, the Nasdaq and the Dow were tearing through support levels and infecting the dollar and the bond. In fact, this week marked the first five-day trading week that the Nasdaq has closed down every day since Sept. 19 through 23, 1994. Meanwhile, the Dow was on target for its worst close in terms of point decline. By

closing the Nasdaq lay gasping at 3320, down 357, or 9.7%. The Dow bled 616.20, expiring at 10,307.32.

Kayte VanScoy, special to TheStreet.com, contributed to this story.