From Asia, a Teddy Bear

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NEW YORK: So what was it? Not a crash. Not even a panic, really. But when a scare in Hong Kong wafts west and sends the usually buoyant Dow plummeting as much as 230 points from the opening bell, something significant may be afoot even if things did settle in at down 186.88 by closing time.

"This is something to watch," says TIME's Wall Street columnist, Daniel Kadlec. "No one expected Hong Kong to get hit this hard, and it did. If this sends the Southeast Asian markets any further into recession, it will have real implications here." U.S. multinationals, in other words, will get out of Asia faster than you can say "default," with global-thinking investors right behind them. "That could be the thing that triggers the 500- or 600 point correction everybody's been waiting for."

The news for small investors is the same old buy-and-hold; once the big cash is back at home, the U.S. markets will stabilize. Indeed, by closing Thursday, there were signs this had already begun. But if the bears don't scatter, and suddenly the Dow's closer to seven grand than eight, listen to Kadlec: "That could be a heck of a buying opportunity."

Isn't everything?

  • Money Daily begs to differ

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