NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Well, you know what they say: Tuesday's just as bad. Stocks started the day strong, but fell off a cliff (Leaf!) in the afternoon. Why? No one has any idea where they're going, that's why.
Selling accelerated toward the close. Nice. Dow fell 155, to 9,126, Nasdaq was off 36, to 1,424. So much for Monday's gains. We're now back at September's lows. Double dip anyone? Hey, watch me, Gustave Courbet (French realism, baby! What we need now! My fave is "A Burial at Ornans") I mean Andy Serwer on CNN and Headline News. Read Loose Change to find out the latest dirt on Goldman Sachs! (Connie's new show ruled!)
STOCKYARD The Fed meeting has no meaning. There, I said it. What do you think they're going to do? Raise rates? Cut rates? See what I mean? Philip Morris is at it again. MO hit $57 in late May and is now sinking fast. More bad jury stuff, stock fell $2.25, to $46.55. And then it will come back.
Amazon got hit hard because buy.com announced a book price war! (And WE benefit!) How about Cytec, off $4.67, to $6.79? Is Citi really at $39? GE at $28? AT&T at $10? On and on and on.
SALAD DAYS FOR MARTHA! Has anyone ever gone on live TV to defend themselves against charges of insider trading while chopping cabbage?! No, they haven't. But the Queen of Style did on the "CBS Early Show." Knowledgeable sources on Wall Street think Martha may have painted herself into a corner.
"If she is suggesting that this broker Bacanavic guy called her up and told her the stock is tanking and that she sell (and that's all!) and she did, then why didn't she or why hasn't she simply stepped forward and said so, and take the hit and disgorge the proceeds? In other words, 'It was a mistake, he never said anything, but he may have had or did have inside information, but I didn't know so I'm returning the money.' Why didn't she do this right away? Now I'm thinking well there has to be more to it than that." Good point. Martha on the chopping block. Martha goes under the knife. I hope "Early Show" host Jane Clayson was insured for this morning's appearance.
In other Martha news, this from Reuters: "Under scrutiny for possible ties to insider trading, home decorating guru Martha Stewart on Tuesday faced a recall of a potpourri simmering pot marketed under her brand name. About 80,000 ceramic pots are being voluntarily recalled because tea light candles inside the pots can overheat and flames can 'flare out of the side ventilation holes,' according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The sets, sold at Kmart stores for about $5 under the Martha Stewart Everyday Brand, were sold between September 2001 and March 2002 and the recall is a voluntary step by Candle-lite, the CPSC said."
BANKRUPTCY! What up with that? Send me your favorite story. Personal. Corporate, whatever. Let's share 'em. Swap 'em. Trade 'em with friends!
Hello to Ellen Toobin!...Al Qaeda didn't set the fires out West, did they? Just asking...
Reader writes in: "This sign is posted behind the Goldman Sachs security guard: 'Deactivated Goldman Sachs access cards: If an employee has a deactivated ID, contact the card center to determine the reason why the card was deactivated. If the card cannot be reactivated, tell the employee to contact their manager to have the card reactivated. AT NO TIME SHOULD YOU USE THE WORD "TERMINATED" WITH THE EMPLOYEE.'"
From Deep Blue: "Home Depot -- much written lately, both you and the WSJ. Tell you one thing -- it's so damn hard to find someone to give you a helping hand or spend 10 quality minutes with you in that joint -- it borders on frustration. I wish I could take you to my local hardware store. Yes, it's a little more expensive on some items but the assistance they provide and consideration they offer are more than worth it. I guess I could see them splitting the stores: one for weekend warriors like me and the other for contractors/construction guys."...
Check out what Foxy sent me: "It's Fourth Down and What Does the Bellman Equation Say? A Dynamic-Programming Analysis of Football Strategy." Check it out. " Sheesh!...
Dr. Gilman. Paging Dr. Gilman. Hank Gilman likes Brian Ferry's new album, "Frantic." "You are obligated since your column is named after one of his songs. It's even better than the very good reviews. He's also on Jay Leno July 8th."...
Brian O'Keefe pens, "Dear Dolly, can you hear the wind blow? If Dolly Parton feels the need to find her 'Stairway' on the whispering wind, then it's okay by me. It definitely does not feel like a jump the shark moment. An interesting, acoustic bluegrass version of the song by a country music star is about the only way I could personally imagine listening to 'Stairway to Heaven' all the way through at this point. Otherwise, I'd be fast-forwarding to get to 'When the Levee Breaks.' Besides, Dolly's already demonstrated an ability to make '70s hits her own. Look no further than her 1989 album 'White Limozeen.' That was her return to her country roots after a series of pop records in the mid-'80s, and she included a very successful Grand Ole Opry-style treatment of REO Speedwagon's 'Time for Me To Fly.' I mean, it was no 'Jolene,' but it was cool."
Andrew Serwer is editor-at-large of Fortune magazine.
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