Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No buy programs in sight

Today was just dismal in the U.S. equity markets. Even looked at compared to recent weak performances it was an unusual day of selling. Where were those fake bounces we so look forward to in order to least digest our lunch in a moment of peace? Where were those contrarian gainers whose franchises for at least a day suggest that they are a great shelter from the storm? Nowhere to be found today, a day of slow mo relentless selling with any buying likely just being short sellers reaping their gains before some dead cat bounce forces their hand. Man oh man, Citigroup is again a hat size, first time since 1991. GM is now an economical 3, dollars not cylinders like some of those Honda hybrids. Amex wants $3.5 billion from Treasury, anticipation leading to their credit flu shot for card losses to come.

The U.S. markets are around 5.2% down across the board. Amazing how the math works. A couple of months ago the Dow down 400 would have been 4%, seven months ago is would have been closer to 3%. A 50% rally by the Dow between now and year end would still lead to a 25% loss on the Dow for the year. Who wouldn't take that, but it doesn't look likely. Catalyst needed, and it is obvious now that it cannot come from a government program.

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