Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dow 5000 . . . Sooner Or Later

The markets had another bad day today:

Wall Street hit levels not seen since 2003 on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average plunging below the 8,000 mark amid a dour economic outlook from the Federal Reserve and worries over the fate of Detroit's three automakers.

A cascade of selling occurred in the final minutes of the session as investors yanked money out of the market. For many, the real fear is that the recession might be even more protracted if Capitol Hill is unable to bail out the troubled auto industry.

GM's PR campaign of fearmongering is probably no small contributor to today's bleeding. I personally wouldn't mind the collapse of the U.S. auto industry. It will give me the chance to make some short-term profits (if I pull the trigger on some uncovered calls on GM) and some long-term gains (by making widely followed ETFs cheaper to buy if the broader market declines further).

I honestly think the Dow will go to 5000 before it ever gets a chance to go to 15,000. The macroeconomic picture continues to deteriorate. Trying to make an accurate forecast is an exercise in futility, so I'll just stick with broad intuitive guesses.

Nota bene: Anthony J. Alfidi does not hold any position in GM at the time this commentary was published, although he is seriously considering selling uncovered calls before the end of Dec. 2008.