Worst Trading Session Of The Year
As sequestration looms at the end of this week between President Barack Obama
and Republicans in Congress, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst
trading session of the year. At the closing bell on Monday, the Dow faced a
triple digit loss, down over 216 points. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose
35% today, the largest increase since August 2011. S&P 500 ended the trading
session below 1500, its first since February 4. U.S. lawmakers need to come
together before Friday March 1 to reach a deal to avert automatic spending cuts.
If lawmakers fail to agree, government spending will be cut by $85 billion which
will be felt by Americans, across the country. The President asked Republican
governors to work with his administration to avoid "manufactured" crises. In
remarks to the National Governors Association meeting at the White House, the
President said, "There are more areas where we can do a lot more cooperating
than we've done over the last several years." The selloff on Wall Street is mild
today considering what could be ahead for investors, beginning on Friday.
Italy could be faced with a fresh round of political instability due to what
appears as a three-way tie in the Chamber of Deputies between Pier Luigi
Bersani’s center-left alliance, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s
center-right alliance and Beppe Grillo’s 5-Star Movement. Europe’s third-largest
economy could unsettle global equity markets, should turmoil erupt. Any
government must also command a majority in the Senate, a race that is decided by
region. A stronger showing by Grillo and Berlusconi could prompt a renewal of
euro-zone debt fears. Election results will determine whether a new government
will reverse some of the austerity measures enacted during the euro zone’s debt
crisis and put Italy’s financial stability at risk.
On Monday, ITT Educational Services Inc. (ESI) shares ended the trading session
down 17% after the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the
company’s involvement in some private student-loan agreements, late Friday. ITT
confirmed they are cooperating with the SEC on the investigation that they have
been aware of since February 8. The SEC issued a subpoena, requesting documents
related to a 2009 loan risk-sharing agreement and its PEAKS Private Student Loan
Program. ITT said there can be no assurance the outcome will not have a material
effect on its financial condition. In January, the company agree to pay $46
million to SLM Corp. (SLM) aka Sallie Mae, the nation’s biggest student lender,
to settle a lawsuit stemming from a risk-sharing agreement on loans.
Affymax Inc. (AFFY) shares ended the trading session Monday down a whopping 85%
to an all time historic low after a recall involving its anti-anemia drug
Omontys. The recall resulted from several patient fatalities after using the
medication, in first-time users. Death occured in 0.02% of patients that used
the drug. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. of Japan was its partner with the drug.
Omontys was injected into patients for treatment of anemia due to chronic kidney
disease for adults on dialysis and the drug is believed to have caused serious
hypersensitivity problems, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a
life-threatening whole body allergic reaction with rapidly developing symptoms
which occurred within seconds or minutes.
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Feb 25, 2013