|Semiconductor Index (SOX)||378.84||-9.35|
|Amex Gold Bugs Index||145.88||-0.64|
|10-year Treasury Bond||3.28%||-0.073|
Government-Sponsored Agita: Folks will of course be staying tuned to learn exactly what precipitated this. If it turns out to be derivatives-related, as some expect, things could get very messy. Interestingly, Fannie Mae has been considered by many to be a much riskier stock, a view which I share. In any case, Freddie's announcement saw the stock open down about 20%, while Fannie opened down only about 4%. Stunningly, despite a double helping of bad news and the weaker opening after Friday's reversal in technology, the tape was bought pretty aggressively for about 20 minutes. To me, that made the day look rather binary. Either they were going to turn it, or it was going to get smacked. A rescue seemed unlikely today, so down appeared to be the most probable direction, and down it was, such that a couple hours into the day, the big averages were down about 1%, and the Nasdaq was down about 1.5%. The upside leaders of yore -- tech, finance, biotech, and housing -- today led the charge to the downside. In essence, the first couple hours captured almost all the action, as the markets basically spent the rest of the day going sideways, near the low end of the range, which was where they closed. Some of the speculative darlings actually held up pretty well, even though the SOX was hit for 3% and biotechs for a similar amount. Big-cap tech hung in there, though the same cannot be said for housing stocks, which were roughed up from 3% to 5%, plus or minus.