a week that the market would rather forget, the Dow industrials
shed a record 821 points, or 7.7 percent. The S&P 500 was
down 6.7 percent for the week. Stu's portfolio handed out dollars
faster than Puffy Daddy to a crowd of nightclub patrons, and Gene
is going to have to cancel his order for that new Uni-mog.
losses came in a week marked by investor uncertainty about Fed
interest rate moves, and about whether they'd have to clean all
of their Napster downloads off of their hard disks, leaving them
nothing to listen to during the trading day.
the tone for the debacle, the market entered the week still nervous
about the warfare
between National Review Online and LewRockwell.com.
Fears were rampant that the dispute would disturb Lawrence Kudlow's
hair style, leaving the NRO and CNBC star unable to make his daily,
televised request for Fed rate cuts.
all-day rumors that Bob Murphy might attempt another piece
of psychoanalytic deconstructionism on Jonah Goldberg, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 436.37 points, its fifth-largest
point decline in history. Meanwhile, the long-beleaguered Nasdaq
Composite shed another 6.3% and ended at 1923.38, its lowest close
since the last time it was down there. At 2.1 billion shares,
over-the-counter action was heavier then when Oprah Winfrey orders
at Bob's Big Boy.
Tuesday, the market overcame its early sheepishness about having
behaved so badly on Monday to end solidly higher. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average rose 0.8%, the S&P 500 gained 1.5% and
the Nasdaq Composite added a robust 4.8%. A sour note in an otherwise
upbeat day was word of intensified fighting on the border between
Kosovo and Macedonia, which sent shares of Macedonian ADRs plunging.
Wednesday, the market arose in a spirit of optimism, only to have
its breakfast spoiled by finding, for the first time in months,
pictures of Jennifer Lopez in any of its morning papers. Now
in a glum mood, the market opened the trading day sharply lower.
Throughout the day it anxiously awaited television reports from
the Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs gun-possession trial, hoping to catch
some historical footage showing Lopez in that damned green dress.
When it became apparent later in the afternoon that there would
be no pictures of Ms. Lopez broadcast that day, the market closed
very agitated, with the Dow falling over 300 points and the Nasdaq
grew even grimmer on Thursday, when the sudden disappearance
of all Starbucks coffee shops, combined with the fact that
its wife brought up that one-night stand from last fall yet again,
made the market irritable and ready to "bag this whole securities
thing and open that beachfront restaurant in St. Lucia with my
brother." A neighbor on the trading desk reported "the market
had a distinct odor of stale beer and cigarettes about him when
he staggered in this morning just minutes before the open,
might I add."
also hit the street that capitulation
is in. As market watchers anxiously speculate about when the
market's flirtation with "heroin chic" will end, "capitulation"
from the Latin caput (head) and ulatium (the
act of beating on something with a thorny club), roughly meaning
the point at which people's favorite mutual fund is a coffee can
buried in the backyard has become the term on everyone's lips.
started it," said Jim
Cramer. "I used to use it a lot until it caught on so there.
Now it's a complete Godot capitulation," said Cramer, referring
to the Samuel Becket play, "Waiting for Godot." "Investors are
undertaking a deep ontological exploration of tensions inherent
in attempting to ground human life on an absurdist cosmology."
In the mean time, we recommend saving those coffee cans.
fighting spread on the border of Kosovo and Macedonia, the market
looked for guidance as to what the future held for an area that
is an increasingly vital cog in the global economy. The market
expressed fears that full-scale conflict might break out in the
region. It is thought that the resulting shortage of pan flutes
could send prices rocketing skyward and re-ignite inflation.
to clarify the Balkan situation, German Foreign Minister Joschka
Fischer said the West "[is] not ready to accept any violent changing
of borders. Such a thing is out of the question, except when,
you know, it is NATO who is doing the changing." When asked if
the West would allow the borders to be changed by any non-violent
method, Fischer replied, "None of that either! You little beetle-browed
people down there will learn to behave yourselves and stay where
we put you, or you will be taught a harsh lesson." Archduke Franz
Ferdinand was not available for comment.
dispirited by the dark shadow being cast from the Balkans onto
the future of the West, the market couldn't "take this crap any
longer." "Screw it," the market said, "I'm gonna get in one more
three-day weekend before ski season ends," and it chartered a
quick flight up to Burlington. This wanton irresponsibility panicked
investors, and all major indices plunged again, with the Dow falling
over 200 points.
trader at a major brokerage firm, who spoke on the condition of
anonymity, but who is actually Joe Lombardi of Salomon Brothers,
said: "In the bigger picture what you got is a market that is
very, very unhappy. Its self-esteem is like s&*t and with
all this recession talk, it's no friggin' wonder. What the market
needs right now is a weeklong retreat at one of those teamwork-building
wilderness adventures, maybe with Alan Greenspan and George Bush.
Or get out on the town and get laid, for God's sake. Just stop
moping around and complaining."