Friday, May 18, 2012

Stocks Smashed Again; Facebook Flops on IPO

For three weeks running, it's been the same story: stocks down, and today's malaise was particularly embarrassing to the NASDAQ and to the underwriters of the Facebook (FB - which should stand for Fail Badly) on a Friday that most traders would likely rather forget.

The Dow Jones industrials closed down for the 12th time in the last 13 sessions, while the S&P and NASDAQ recorded their 10th down day in the last 12. All of the major averages finished in the red every day this week an occurrence so unique that barely a broker or trader can recall the last time it happened. Even on major declines, there's usually a day or two of snap-back rallies, but the current condition is such that all confidence is being shattered as events unfold without a whimper of defiance from the usual monied or political oligarchs.

For the week, the Dow lost a cumulative 451 points, easily the worst performance of the year; ditto for the S&P and NASDAQ, which lost, respectively, 52 and 155 points, while the NYSE Composite shed 388, the broadest measure taking the worst percentage loss.

As for the Facebook IPO, which priced Thursday night at a robust $38 per share, finished the day ahead a measly 23 cents, one of the poorest showings ever for a major tech stock right out of the box. The trading, which was supposed to have begun at 11:00 am EDT, didn't open until after 11:30, the culprit being the usual "system glitches." Traders reported throughout the day that they were not receiving confirmations of their orders, the earliest of which had bought in at levels of 41 and 42 dollars per share, and were, thus, stuck at whatever price they placed their orders. It was a complete embarrassment for all parties - the company, the underwriters and the NASDAQ - though it's almost certain that newly-minted billionaire Mark Zuckerberg will lose little sleep over today's fiasco.

All told, the week, and especially the last two days, have been particularly painful for all involved, though gold and silver investors have enjoyed two consecutive days of gains after prolonged weakness. With precious metals beginning to show strength again, the dynamics of a failing global economy based on fiat dollars are showing their true colors.

Over the weekend, members of the G8 will be meeting at Camp David, purportedly to issue some kind of proclamation that all is well, or, ostensibly, to hammer out some new paradigm for global economic salvation. With any luck, they'll all agree to go home and do nothing, something for which they're all well trained.

In European news, the woes for the Southern states continued as Moody's downgraded 16 of the nation's banks and Fitch cut Greece's banks to CCC (big surprise there).

The weekend at hand, two words known well to hoarders of gold and silver: keep stacking.

Dow 12,369.38, -73.11 (0.59%)
NASDAQ 2,778.79, -34.90 (1.24%)
S&P 500 1,295.22, -9.64 (0.74%)
NYSE Composite 7,413.01, -67.42 (0.90%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,571,980,000
NYSE Volume 4,450,551,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1470-4143
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 22-345 (worst since March of '09)
WTI crude oil: 91.48, -1.08
Gold: 1,591.90, +17.00
Silver: 28.72, +0.70

No comments: