Markets & Stocks
Fretful Consumers Make for Falling Stocks
graphic November 27, 2001: 7:44 p.m. ET

Consumer confidence drops, spurring a market pullback. Also, why is Steve Jobs steamed?
By Andy Serwer
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - How long can stocks go up? Well, not forever. (On a clear day you can see...) Stocks flopped today like a halibut on a hot dock, but actually it coulda been a lot worse. Especially if you consider how far we've come sine the September lows. The Dow was the big loser, falling 110 to 9872 (1.1%)--ya big loser!--while the Naz was only off 5 to 1935. Hey, watch me, Vidiadhar Surajprasad (call me V.S.) Naipaul (I started "A Bend in the River." Maybe time to read "Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey."), I mean Andy Serwer on CNN, CNNfn, and Headline News. READ Loose Change. Here's wazzup:

STOCKYARD: Simple. Consumer confidence dropped and so did stocks. Please. What is consumer confidence anyway???? Some guy gets on the phone and asks: "How ya doin'?" (Brooklyn!) And I would reply: Click!!! I mean, who talks to these guys anyway? Depressed people. So what do you expect??? In other news, existing home sales grew nicely.... Chip stocks continued to run. Boy, how long is this going to last??? (INTC (INTC: up $0.44 to $32.31, Research, Estimates) says it will make its Q4.) And get this, Redhat (RHAT: Research, Estimates) climbed $1.60 to $7.60 after IBM announced it was partnering with RHAT to serve its (for real!) 'alternative operating systems' business. Fine, all .00001% of the world that uses it!!! But what SHOCKED me was that MSFT (MSFT: Research, Estimates) fell $2.10 to $63.04!!! Coincidence????? Or not!!!!... Nokia (NOK: down $1.52 to $23.72, Research, Estimates) fell even though it seems to me it said its biz is on track.... Home Depot (HD: down $2.17 to $43.35, Research, Estimates) slumped on fears no one would shop there. Right. Oils moved north (to Alaska--Johnny Horton!!).

MAC ATTACK: Seems like old times. Steve Jobs went ballistic on Microsoft today. Why? After all, Bill and Steve have had a détente since 1997 when MSFT bailed out Apple (then on the brink) to the tune of $150 million [that's all!]. Remember the image of Bill on that giant screen looking down at Steve?!? SO poetic!!! Well, what got Steve's (not Billy's) goat was the fact that as part of MSFT's proposed settlement, it plans on giving $1 billion of soft and hardware to schools. A-RUUUUU-GLA!!! A-RUUUUU-GLA!!!! A-RUUUUU-GLA!!!! Those are the alarms going off in Cupertino (Apple's HQ). Schools??? Education??? That's one of AAPL's (AAPL: down $0.37 to $21.00, Research, Estimates) most critical markets. And so, Steve said: "We're baffled that a settlement imposed against Microsoft for breaking the law should allow, even encourage, them to unfairly make inroads into education -- one of the few markets left where they don't have monopoly power." Comprende???

USAIR IS DEAD: (Bad violin music up. Read like Henny Youngman.) Take this airline. Please! So Rakesh Gangwal, CEO of USAir (U: down $0.41 to $8.00, Research, Estimates) stepped down today and will be replaced by--you got it!--Steve Wolf. Talk about back to the future!!! Wolf, of course, ran U for years. The company has been reeling (in the years) and the Feds put the kibosh on its proposed takeover by UAL (UAL: up $0.29 to $17.00, Research, Estimates) (United!!!) Stock has gone from $4 to $80 to $4 and now back up to $8 within the past five years. Hope Julian got out. Who else got burned here? Buffett? Tell me I'm wrong o sorcerer!!! In any event, the game is over. Wolf will sell or put this puppy in Chappie 11 pronto!!! You can bet your sweet bippy on that!!!

SHOTS: So how many of you all work at companies that give flu shots? We do. But get this: At one division of CNN/Money-parent AOL (AOL: down $0.61 to $36.76, Research, Estimates) shots are given free, at another division they cost $10 A SHOT (get it!). So tell me??

Loose Change

Hey, Flextronics (FLEX: up $0.73 to $25.55, Research, Estimates) says its business is on track. I'm surprised!!!...

What I want most for Christmas: "Classic Country: Great Story Songs" at Look at those tunes!!! "Big Bad John." "Old Rivers." "Battle of New Orleans." YES!!!!...

This from inside Enron: "Some thoughts of Enron employees Thanksgiving week: 'Well, now I know what a turkey is.' 'One share of Enron is now worth the price of two Happy Meals.' 'It's a cruel fairy tale.' 'Ask why?'"...

Congrats to David Faber, and I'm not talking about the book anymore!!!...

Thanks Julia, this is truly sick!!!!!

Readers should be ashamed of themselves. Ashamed!!! "So you really rocked totally nude news in Australia, they ran an URGENT MESSAGE banner apologizes for the heavy traffic!!"...

Duke wants to know: "How many foods have the same name as a country besides Turkey? None spring to mind. There are lots of adjectival forms: Danish, French, Russian, Italian. But I can't think of any other." Yeah, I've never eaten Laos before....

What ever happened to Safeguard soap? I liked that brand!!! Better than Irish Spring. I mean please!!!...

You know that cruise line that just merged, Princess PO. What's PO? This from Ulf: "Well the prudish English usually write it P&O. Which stood for Peninsular and Oriental Line, the company that used to keep The EMPIRE together. P for India I think and O for places east of that. The company is credited for 'creating' the word Posh, an abbreviation och Port out Starboard home, meaning that your cabin would be on the cool shaded side." graphic