Closing Bell 10.15.07

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Sponsored by the Financial Times.
Oil up. Stocks down. Dollar unseen in days, possibly weeks.
And Citigroup totally head-faked the market by lowering expectations so low just two weeks ago that today they were able to say they beat the expectations.
It was down, down, down and then a mini-up on all the major indexes. On the New York Stock Exchange, just 900 stocks closed higher while 2,328 fell. Volume was moderate, with 1.29 billion shares trading hands on the NYSE. But something like a fifth of that volume was in the last hour of trading. The major indexes were each down more than 1% at one point during the day but staged a minor rally in the last hour. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 108.28 to 13984.80. The S&P 500-stock index fell 13.09 to 1548.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 25.63 to 2780.05.
Citigroup managed to trade up a bit at the start of the day on those “better than expected” earnings. But this didn’t last. The stock was down as 4.5% during the day but climbed back to close down just 3.4% as the markets closed. Other Dow components also sank and then staged minor combacks. Like General Motors, which was down almost exactly the same percentage at Citigroup and then rallied in almost exactly the same way. It closed down 3.6% for the day.
Chances that the Sallie Mae deal might still be rescued looked even slimmer today. JC Flowers has asked a Delaware court to declare that it is not obligated to proceed with the deal. Shares of Sallie Mae traded down all the day, and landed down 5.2% for the day.
Three Americans won the non-Nobel prize in economics.
Oil hit one billion dollars per barrel, or some such outrageous number. And, now check if we’ve got this right, but we think one Euro can buy all the dollars in the world. Although we’ve totally lost track so, as we said, check that number before making any investment decisions.
FT Alphaville is totally Tony. It's Grrrrreat!

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