Worst Day since 4/20; Jobs, Debt and Dividends

Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on February 4, 2010

Today’s broad decline of 3.11% was the worst 500 day since the 4.28% decline on 4/20/09, and leaves the market 7.57% off the 10/19/10 high. Financials were down the most (-4.15%), with Consumers Staples and Telecommunications tied for the best performer, declining 2.34% each. Concern over jobs was on the forefront, but built-up profits since the March 9, 2009 low made the taking much easier.

In all the commotion there was good news on the dividend front, 5 issues raised their rate today, bringing the 500’s February dividend increase count to 11; see file for details.
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Reader Comments

Michael Wood

February 10, 2010 1:11 AM

A 10% tariff on Chinese goods is a terrible idea! The difference (between Japan and China) is that Japan had been conquered by the U.S. during World War II, and was an acquiescent trading partner.

China is a rising military and economic juggernaut, and responds tit-for-tat to every American move that hurts them, like tariffs, selling arms to Taiwan, meeting with the Dalai Lama, etc.

A tariff on Chinese companies would be met with similar trade sanctions against the U.S., not to mention a substantial degradation of the U.S.-China relationship. China would stop working with the U.S. at the U.N., and would act even more in its own interest by securing oil reserves with countries like Sudan, Iran and Burma. And don't forget they could simply stop buying U.S. treasury bonds and tank the U.S. dollar and U.S. economy!

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About

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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