Monday, January 21, 2008

Black Tuesday: All Eyes on New York

"No one knows what's going to happen tonight in New York. It's like we've gone blind, you don't know what's coming. Until we see New York, all we can do is sell."
Ken Masuda, senior equities dealer at Shinko Securities in Tokyo.

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ES futures are currently at 1255, which is down over 5% from Friday's close. The Hang Seng Index is down over 8% from Friday's close, while the Nikkei is down only 5.6% from Friday's close. The FTSE is down only 5.5% from Friday's close, while the DAX is down over 7%.
Not sure what the carnage in the European and Asian markets in the past two nights will mean for the key market session in New York on 630am (EST) Tuesday. The only thing I know for sure right now is that the markets will open with a monster 4% gap down from Friday's close.
I'm reading the news and blogs, and I see traders thinking that we are close to the bottom, while others believe that there is more downside to come. All that means is we are right in the middle of true, unbridled chaos in the markets, and no one knows what will happen next.
Just for context, here's what happened to the S&P500 Index back in October 1987 (courtesy of Wikipedia):

And, here's what happened to the Nasdaq Composite Index back in 9/11/2001 (courtesy of

In both cases, the intraday low was not the bottom. Therefore, chances are that tomorrow's intraday low will not be the bottom either, or at the very least, will be tested.
My own plan is to only watch the markets since the risk is too great to go long or short at this point. I may perhaps try to spot the intraday high and intraday low in real-time (just so I stay sharp), but that's about it.

Final thought for the day:
If Helicopter Ben stands so ready to take substantive additional action as needed to support growth, then how should his non-sensical lack of action in the face of a 13% YoY rise in unemployment, a -20.9 reading in the Philly Fed Index, a 14% drop in residential construction activity, a frozen CDO securities market, a tepid CPI, and +4% plunge in the stock market indicies be interpreted ???

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