Updated from 1:43 p.m. EDT
Just a Few Gainers( At 4:55 p.m. EDT) Citigroup ( C) got it done. The bank's shares rose 5.5% Tuesday to end at $4.01, its first close above $4 since late January. You know I can't stop you if you want to talk about a short squeeze, as our friends at The Wall Street Journal did. I'm not even saying you wouldn't have a point. I'm simply noting that the stock was up again. Going back to March 13, when it finished at $1.78, it's gained more than 100%. Since last Wednesday, it's advanced 49%. If you saw value there, for whatever reason, and bought it you've done pretty well. The other side, not so much. These new shares may very well change the equation. For now though, it is what it is.
Going the Wrong Way( At 1:35 p.m. EDT) The situation is worsening a bit for the Dow in the afternoon. With about two and a half hours left in the session, the index was down 128 points, or 1.6%, at 7930. So what if we're up about 1,500 points since that March low? Wasn't the ascent better than the opposite? This downturn thing, even if it's moderate, just makes people nervous. Again, though, let's not rush to judgment. It's what happens when the clock's winding down that matters. Only three of the industrials were showing gains. Citigroup ( C) was the best on a percentage basis and the most heavily traded of the 30 Dow stocks, gaining 8.2% to $4.11. General Motors ( GM) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) were the other two names in the green. The steepest decliners were two of Citi's fellow financial components, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and American Express ( AXP), each off about 5.8%. Bank of America ( BAC), which at one point hit $11.58, dropped back to $10.54, a loss of 4.4% on the day. We've still got a way to go before this one's in the books. And Intel ( INTC) coming up after the close.
Citi Needs Help Here( At 10:35 a.m. EDT) We've got a lot to digest this morning, and the Dow was posting an early loss. I'll check back in around 3:30 p.m. to see how things shake out. Of course, that's more of the fun-having, the kidding around. I know. The market is very serious. Not fun. Many exciting and crucial things have already happened, and more no doubt will take place between now and this afternoon that will require our undivided attention and close inspection. Preferably minute by minute. Naturally, I don't want to be accused of being derelict, so I'll go ahead and try to get into what's influencing the market. And in case you're wondering, the industrials were recently down 49 points at 8008 -- a palindrome number, just for the record. It had been more than 100 points earlier. After Goldman's ( GS) big numbers following the prior close, I admit I was hopeful. Let us rejoice, I thought. Be more like Ben Bernanke. Didn't help much it turns out.
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