Something is bothering the market today, with the Dow down 210.70 at mid-day. Fourth quarter results will be out soon and some are holding their breath. For instance, a report in the New York Times says Merrill Lynch could write down as much as $15 billion in the fourth quarter. Analyst estimates to this point have been around $12 billion. What ever the number is it comes on top of $8.4 billion in the third quarter, and the departure of former Chief Executive Officer Stan O’Neal.
As credit cards begin to suffer other banks and investment houses must give us results soon. A true look at the economy is beginning to come clear. Day-to-day reports sometimes conflict, such as holiday sales reports. One article said they were great, one article said they were dismal, and one article said fuel and groceries were factored in. In other words some daily reports go against common sense as well as common practices.
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