A Tough Start

Futures are down substantially as Europe leads the way down. U.K. GDP shrunk by 1.5% and the FTSE dropped below 4000 for the first time since December. Capital One reported to a big loss last night but announced that they will maintain their dividend, how fiscally responsible of them.

Pfizer is in talks to buy Wyeth for $60 billion, Harley Davidson’s earnings were down 54% and Schlumberger reported a 17% short fall and will layoff 4000 and warned of a big slowdown for 2009. Sony led Asia down with the report of their first annual loss in 14 years. There is more bad news this morning, but I am running out of ink.

When will the companies that took TARP funds eliminate their dividends? This is getting silly. GE just reported as I write, and the stock is flat, the early comment is that they too will keep their dividend in place.

The weekend is finally upon us and I don’t see any kind of rally today, although anything is possible. The market is still playing possum with the 8000 level. When it breaks, I anticipate a big move down. Good luck today and I will see you on twitter.

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