This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 19 at 1:57 p.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
The damage to this market by this October is quite extraordinary. I don't think people realize that this selloff has been of almost Latin American proportions, to use a reference to the old days. Much of it has been masked by the averages, but it is very hard, ex oil, to find anything that hasn't been pretty much taken out and shot here.
For example, we may sneer at
as growth stories, but have you seen where they have gone? Have you checked out the carnage in some of these retail names? Anything auto needs a microscope to be found.
, you know these were major companies once.
Or how about the casino stocks? Have you seen them lately? Without so much as a major shortfall, they have been destroyed. Teen retail, large box retail, specialty retail, they are hideous.
Meanwhile, stuff like
, which seems to go down every day, now is going down in giant gobs. Liquor stocks have vanished before my very eyes. Chemicals and wood products are trading at levels that are just nutty.
Which brings me back to sentiment. Monday an old friend and totally recognizable name on Wall Street showed me a proprietary survey that showed bearishness at six-year high levels.
Isn't it something that we have that level
, now that the horses are out of the barn?
Now, I know there are still some stocks that haven't been crushed:
. And the oils are still up nicely for the year, although you have to admit for a year that oil has gone up 50% it would be right to presume that
would be up more than 8% for the year, but that's all it is.
I am just reminding people that when you have Guernica-like carnage, you tend not to get more Guernica-like carnage, unless it is 1987. Perhaps it is fitting that 18 years ago today we defeated that logic by having the worst one-day selloff ever,
we had had the worst week ever the previous week.
I just don't believe that we are going to get a repeat of that, not when most of the problem is either man-made -- the loudmouth
-- or becoming less of a problem -- the decline in oil.
Again, apologies for being sane. Let the bad times roll!
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