23 June, 2008

Banks continue decline, Job cuts at Citigroup, QMNM Day Trade

Markets Monday couldn't hold onto opening gains and slide lower before finishing roughly flat, as Energy was the only real green sector and continued pressure was put on the Financials. The Dow Jones and S&P ended flat while the Nasdaq was lower by almost 1%.

Energy's rise made up for further weakening Financials today as Banks and Brokerages were mainly to the red between 2 and 5%. Bank Of America (BAC) was hit with selling as it closes in on finalizing its purchase of troubled Mortgage lender Countrywide Financial (CFC). Continued worries at Citigroup (C) grew as reports surfaced of potential job cuts in the bank's Investment Banking division. As much as 10% of that workforce could be getting walking papers. With the stock already under pressure, Citi dropped another 4% to rest just 50 cents shy of its 52-week low.

On a brighter note, Investors buying in now are sitting on a 7% yield, provided no further dividend cuts are in store, and there's certainly no guarantees on that front.

A very interesting and lucrative day trade also was developing today with Quest Minerals & Mining (QMNM), a penny stock listed as an OTC issue. The company virtually doubled at the open to $0.03/share as the Kentucky based firm over the weekend announced its plan to get into production imminently with some of its energy and mineral properties, specifically its location at Pond Creek. The stock stayed around the $0.02/$0.03 levels as volume surged in the security, however towards the end of the session, a secondary flood of bidding pushed the issue to close at $0.07/share, making the day's gain over 400%!

Trading and Investing in penny stocks is certainly not the recommended path for those just starting out or learning the investing ropes, but it can be a lucrative proposition at times, and with the volatility inherent in the energy and materials sectors, it can not be overlooked that in this day in age, an increasing amount of small companies can truly make market-noticing breakthroughs specifically in these areas of business.

Disclosure: Author owns C

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