Monday, November 26, 2007

Stocks Trampled Into Correction

Remember that little 180-point Black Friday rally on the Dow?

Well, forget about it. On Monday, the Dow wiped out all of that half-session gain and then some, pushing the Dow into negative territory for the year and the blue chip index officially into a correction - down 10% from the highs.

Dow 12,743.44 -237.44; NASDAQ 2,540.99 -55.61; S&P 500 1,407.22 -33.48; NYSE Composite 9,389.50 -193.48

Additionally, Monday - the first full day of trading during the "holiday season" - saw the S&P 500 fall into negative territory for the year.

The NASDAQ fell into "correction" territory as well, off its October 31 high of 2859.12. It has shed more than 11% of its value in less than a month - 17 trading sessions.

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As usual, the main culprit for the fall in US equities was the continuing credit/mortgage/housing crisis. Two stories were front and center on the topic. CitiGroup (C) announced that another round of cost-cutting might include layoffs, and financial network CNBC commented that the layoffs could number 45,000.

Embattled lender Countrywide Financial (CFC) was the subject of a letter from NY Senator Charles Schumer, who sought a probe of more than $50 billion Countrywide borrowed from the Federal Home Loan Bank system.

Countrywide fell $1.01, or 10 percent to $8.64, while CitiGroup slumped 1.00 (3.15%) to $30.70.

In the overall market, declining issues led advancers, 4843 to 1603, a ratio of better than 3 to 1. New lows surged to 627, as opposed to 99 new highs. While housing and credit are getting most of the headlines, the declines are being seen in all market segments.

Oil dropped 48 cents to settle at $97.70 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold and silver posted modest gains, though commodities were barely the focus of Monday's trading.

The 200-point decline on the Dow was the 6th of that magnitude this month, making November easily the worst month for the markets this year. In all, the Dow has lost 1187 points during the penultimate month of 2007.

NYSE Volume 3,706,467,250
NASDAQ Volume 2,019,342,250

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