The PJ Tatler

The Dow Only Lost 520 More Points Today

It’s always a tricky business to peg stock prices to anything political, but the combination of fears of another banking crisis in Europe plus the Fed running out of bullets plus the total lack of leadership from the president all probably have something to do with the latest bloodbath on Wall Street.

Stocks finished near session lows in choppy trading Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P wiping out all of the previous session’s gains led by financials, as investors continued to cautiously monitor developments in the European banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down over 500 points, wiping out the previous session’s 429-point rally. The blue-chip index has had triple-digit moves in four of the last five trading days.

Disney [DIS  31.54    -3.16  (-9.11%)   ] and BofA [BAC  6.77    -0.83  (-10.92%)   ] led the blue-chip decliners.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished sharply lower. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, soared more than 25 percent.

Among key S&P sectors, financials and industrials declined.

Beyond the declines, the volatility itself is worrisome. A rumor that France’s credit would get downgraded led to panic and the French president even cancelled his vacation to return to work.  The downgraded US plus the dysfunctional, possibly divorce-destined Eurozone don’t make for very strong economic pillars. To say the very least.