Will the market be nuked?
by Peter Switzer
Wall Street couldn’t resist gravity and the lure of the unknown with shares diving overnight but they weren’t helped by the EU’s energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who said there could be further catastrophe at the nuclear site in Japan.
The market did not like this revelation and underlines that we are dependent on the small team of engineers who are courageously battling the nuclear disaster threat.
By the way, a spokeswoman later said the energy minister “had no privileged information” on the situation.
It cost the market about 130 points and shows how amateur politicians can be a high risk factor in challenging market times.
That said, questions are have been asked as to why this situation is being left to 50 heroes to solve this horrendous problem. If it was America, they’d send in the National Guard, an army of experts, scientists and 20 start generals backed up by some national hero with a name like Red Adair!
But the Japanese are plodding along with options such as getting in some fire trucks to hose down the reactors flagged as a possibility. It seems to me you would be throwing every water-dropping option and not speculating in the media what might work.
The Dow closed 242.12 points, or 2.04 per cent, lower to 11,613.3 and the S&P 500 was 24.99 points, or 1.95 per cent, lower to 1256.88.
The market was not helped by broker downgrades for Apple and IBM. They both went from “market outperform” to “market perform” and in Apple’s case it was because it manufactures out of Japan, as well as other areas, and production problems are expected.
This supply question mark for tech companies because of the Japanese disaster hit other tech stocks and drove the share prices down.
The Yanks also endured some bad economic news that didn’t help the market with housing starts copping the biggest slide in 27 years, off over 22 per cent.
And Moody's didn’t help, downgrading Portugal's debt rating to A3, just to remind us that we have the European debt problem to worry about if we can sort out the nuclear reactor and find peace in the crisis-ridden oil countries of the world!
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Published on: Thursday, March 17, 2011
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