Archive for March, 2007

Turbulent Times Ahead

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

U.S. retail sales excluding autos came in .3% lower than expectations in February, and the dollar’s recent fall against the yen is also contributing to a volatile market. Monday ended slightly higher, though we are likely to have down days in the near future.

New Century Financial (NEW), recently rated 5-stars by Morningstar, has gone from bad to worse. Bankruptcy is likely imminent, it has stopped accepting loan applications, and Tuesday’s announcement of an SEC probe and a grand jury subpoena are not going to help investors.

The company revealed that it owes Credit-Suisse $500 million more than previously stated.

The stock has been halted since Monday’s opening bell. It is not likely that the stock will recover any of its losses, considering the high likelihood of bankruptcy. YTD losses are nearly 95%, with the stock currently valued under $1.70.

Shanghaied Again?

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

The Shanghai Composite Index was down 2.91%. Tuesday’s 8.8% drop was followed by a slight recovery, but precipitated strong declines worldwide, and it appears that China is leading the way, bullish or bearish.

While the Chinese market has a long way to go before one can call it truly “overvalued,” skepticism and the specter of stricter taxes and regulations are warning signs of a rocky road ahead.

For now, it seems that world markets are likely to follow the lead of the Chinese stocks. Japan’s Nikkei ended Thursday down for its third straight day (-1.2%), and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.5%.