( At 4:55 p.m. EDT) No follow-through. None. We started this short week in fine shape. Remember that rally? I know. It's true. It was only one day ago. This time around we get the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 173.47 points, or 2.1%, at 8300.02 Wednesday. That means we're basically flat for the first two sessions. Whereas just two stocks declined Tuesday, only two managed to advance this time, and barely at that. Caterpillar ( CAT) was up 5 cents to $35.05, and Merck ( MRK) tacked on 7 cents to $26.63. GM ( GM) was the worst component on a percentage basis, down 20% to $1.15 as reality returned that a bankruptcy filing is likely in a matter of days. We've seen occasional signs of life in the stock when it looked like something might possibly prevent or delay that, but there was none of that today. Shouldn't be surprised. Remember that even the CEO, Fritz Henderson, has been saying for a while that a filing was probable. That doesn't mean it's not a shame. Hard to think of a company that is more of an icon of American business. Now, even after all the cost-cutting, job losses and restructuring, Chapter 11 is probably right around the corner. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was the next weakest stock, falling 5.2% to $34.66. American Express ( AXP) was down 4.4% at $23.50.
Based in Washington, D.C.
( At 11:20 a.m. EDT) Now we hear that the government ultimately might own somewhere around 70% of General Motors ( GM). This tale gets stranger by the day. Or sadder. Or more tiring, at least.