Market correction 'bearly' raises a sweat

Only the slightest, if any, displays of emotion were to be seen at Exchange Square. In the true Australian spirit, plain-clothes punters, businesspeople, family members and press stood with their eyes fixed on the giant electronic trading board.

Stern faces, secretive murmurs and curious circumspect glances were the only tell-tale signs that the ASX was five minutes away from delivering its response to Friday night's history-making Nasdaq nosedive.

"Weary trader" photo ops were scarce and there were no well-dressed middle-aged business execs crumpled in heaps in the corner. There were no riots and no police. There were, by all accounts, no suicides.

By 10:10am, after 10 minutes of tentative trading, the atmosphere had hardly changed. In fact, one punter who claimed to "dabble" in tech stocks breathed a sigh of relief. "It's not as bad as they thought," he said, referring to an All Ords drop of only thirty-odd points. "They said it would drop 100."

Another spectator, an amused C&W Optus investor, said the "fantasy" enjoyed by the market over the last 12 months needed correction. "Overheated" companies falling to their true value did not qualify as a crash, he said.

And in minutes the All Ords had fallen more than 170 points. There was silence for a moment, until a garbage truck hurtled down Bridge Street with yells of "Sell! Sell! Sell!" emanating from within. This sent a nervous titter rippling across a largely reserved but fast-growing throng. At 10:20am, shares in bread 'n' butter dotcoms, such as Sausage Software, Solution 6 and BMCMedia, fell below half their trading prices of only a few weeks ago.

One self-described veteran investor nevertheless maintained that today's market moves paled in comparison to the crash he endured in 1987 -- a moment in history he believes few of today's keenest spectators would have experienced.

Another onlooker agreed, saying it was likely most investors in technology stocks -- those hardest hit by the temperamental Nasdaq crash late last Friday -- had only been involved in the market for five or six years.

The veteran investor, who said he had been actively involved in market trading for over 20 years, admitted he had come along today in search of bargains in blue chip and gold stocks. He expected to leave empty-handed, however, because "old economy" stocks had not noticeably reacted to the dotcom frenzy that was taking place.

For example, AMP shares suffered more from recent executive staffing changes than from the Nasdaq's Friday meltdown, he said. The market veteran claimed an amateur-friendly market had limited the performance of solid blue chip stocks for over 12 months. However, he believes many investors will either exit the market after today's scare or treat the foolhardy investments as a "necessary learning exercise".

Either way, blue chip stocks will finally enjoy growth after today's drama, he predicted.

"Suddenly everyone's an expert," he said. "When there are lots of floats and lots of experts, when you can go into Angus & Robinson and buy lots of books (on share trading), when you've got people on TV telling you how to do it . . . the alarm bells should start ringing."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Byron Kaye

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?