Last week was great. The major averages sprinted to the end. racking up 10% gains to end an ugly month. Today, back to reality. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a quick 249 points, or 2.8%, to 8,582. The S&P 500 index fell 27 points, or 3%, to 867, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 47 points, or 3%, to 1,487. Manufacturing gauges in China, the euro zone and Britain each showed significant drops, with the Chinese and British gauge dropping to record lows. This week, we expect plenty of bad U.S. economic data culminating in a dismal November unemployment number on Friday. The financials are leading the sell off and a sharp rebound last week. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup all had their numbers cut today. Citigroup is looking to sell their Japanese divisions. Prudential is down 8% even though Citigroup upgraded it and expects the company to earn $7 a share next year. GE is down 7% ahead of a webcast tomorrow regarding business. The shoppers were out in full force over the weekend spending a little less than last year. Today is Cyber Monday when shoppers shift to the Internet for deals. So far it isn't helping. All the retailers are lower. The commodities are all lower as well. No production cuts from OPEC. The techs are lower as well. Yahoo is modestly higher on more rumors of a merger with Microsoft. After the first half an hour, the averages went from bad to worse. The Dow dropped over 350 points. The Nasdaq declined 67 points. Through the morning the averages remained weak. President-elect Obama is introducing his security team and the new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Through the morning and into the afternoon the averages moved lower. Over the last five days, the Dow jumped 1350 points. Today we've given back over 400 points. Frustrating market. Entering the last hour the Dow remained down over 400 points. The Nasdaq was down 100 points. Fed Chairman Bernanke spoke this afternoon. He did little to help the averages, but he did instill a rally in the bond market. In the last hour, we had the trifecta with the Secretary Treasury, Paulson speaking. All talk and no action. The Dow fell over 500 points. Meredith Whitney, the bearish banking analyst had more effect on the markets in the last hour than anyone else. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 679 points, or 7.7%, to end at 8,149, marking the blue-chip average's fourth biggest point drop on record. The S&P 500 index fell 80 points, or 9%, to end at 816 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 137 points, or 9%, to finish at 1,398.
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