Monday, September 15, 2008

A REALLY, REALLY Terrible Morning

The red ink is stunning, almost breathtaking.

As of 9:05 A.M.(Thanks Marketwatch):

Pre-market indications:
• Dow industrials: -353
• S&P: -46.2
• Nasdaq: -52

Crude oil: -$5.15
Gold: +$14.50
Dollar vs. yen, -2.4%
Euro vs. dollar: -0.4%

The destruction of paper wealth this morning is incredible. The indexes are off 3%. Oil is down 5%, the first business day after a major hurricane continues to shut down 20% of the nation's production and even more of our refining output. The Yen has spiked due to "safe-haven" buying.

At this point, it seems like we're all in this together. Wall Street leaders put in a 40-hour weekend trying to open their doors this morning. Lehman Brothers has filed for a form of bankruptcy. Merrill Lynch has agreed to be consumed by Bank of America for $29/share; the street doesn't believe it, based on the MER quote of $22 that I'm getting right now.

Ten banks set up a $70 billion fund that they can draw from during times of stress. Some of those banks will be using it this morning.

"Big" companies have fallen. Bigger companies have lost almost everything; AIG's market cap is $20 billion this morning, compared to nearly $200 billion less than one year ago. LEH's $200 million morning market cap is laughable. (I have to believe that there's more value in the company than that, but I chose to buy AIG this morning instead of LEH.)

I'll drown in the sea of red ink this morning along with most investors. My FSLR short and DUG shares will hedge losses, but not offset them. As I mentioned, I bought a little AIG pre-market at $7.50 and TTWO at $15.50 (as they are reeling from ERTS' walkaway, not this general weakness).

Hopefully the VIX will spike, and at the very least, this trauma will create a bottom. With quotes for nearly every company I can think of down 5% before the bell, maybe this is capitulation. Then again, this is probably the third or fourth time that I've hoped for a bottom.

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