The markets didn't just get up on the wrong side of the bed today; they face-planted on the floor. This isn't just "another case of the Mondays." Spain officially requested $77 billion to stabilize its financial institutions.
Still, this Spanish bailout was already a fait accompli. I wrote about Spain's banking sector dining on TARP tapas two weeks ago, when the eurozone countries offered up to $125 billion in rescue loans for the embattled nation. Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN ) was down 3% that day, and has plunged more than 5% today. Interest on Spanish debt has since topped 7%, and this mini-bailout may just kick the can down the road, but I'm a little stunned at the broad sell-off for a widely expected action that will increase solvency in the short run.
That said, let's take a closer look at how the three major indexes are faring.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI )
Source: Yahoo! Finance as of 1:35 p.m.
The major U.S. indexes are all losing ground with the Nasdaq suffering the steepest plunge. The market's "fear index" is back in a big way; the VIX (INDEX: ^VIX ) is jumping up more than 15% today. On the Dow, the financial components are taking the worst beating in aggregate, but significant pressure is hitting the commodity companies as well. All but one Dow component, Wal-Mart, is in negative territory.
Despite shares being off only 1%, the Dow component suffering the worst news today is Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) , which saw its drug Eliquis rejected by the FDA. Pfizer shares the blood-thinner with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY ) , down 4%, and this rejection is a setback for the potential blockbuster. During clinical trials, Eliquis topped its competitors, and was expected to generate billions by capturing a large slice of the atrial fibrillation market. The two pharmas need a hit after losing flagship drugs Lipitor and Plavix to patent expiration within the last year.
The companies are confidently hoping for a swift resubmission, but it may be 2013 before the FDA reviews whatever additional information they requested and potentially approves the drug.
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