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Why Did My Stock Just Die?

Rich Duprey
April 5, 2013

The folks at Zero Hedge point out the S&P 500 has been running in place for the past two weeks, alternating between up days and down days for 12-consecutive trading sessions. It's the first time that's happened since 1981 and, despite all the gyrations, the index has added just four points to its tally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is only slightly behind its broader sibling, bouncing like a yo-yo on a string for 10-straight days, but at least it's added 150 points for all its movement. Yesterday's 55-point bump higher put the index back above the 14,600 level again.

It may have gotten a boost from Japan's massive stimulus package, but the euphoria may quickly unravel as the magnitude of the debt load causes the country to crash and burn.

A real car wreck on the horizon
Already crashing and burning was lead-acid battery maker Exide Technologies (NASDAQ: XIDE), which confirmed it had hired a restructuring specialist to help it cope with is financial situation ahead of some of its debt maturing this fall. It's shares fell almost 48% on the news.

Although lead-acid batteries are a more stable industrial stalwart than the advanced technological storage systems used in electric vehicles (even as Exide teams up with Maxwell Technologies to make its own EV offerings), most of its revenues -- some 60% of the totalĀ is derived from Europe, leaving the continent's financial woes to weigh heavily on operations. But sales here at home also fell 2% in the third quarter, which ended Dec. 31, because of lower sales to OEMs, as well as third-party sellers.

With a winter that seemingly won't end, however, it could actually see a better fourth quarter. More than three quarters of its transportation segment revenues come from af