Like the title says, you thought it was bad here? Europe’s top companies (the FTSEurofirst 300 index) sank 2.6 percent on Thursday, to end at the lowest closing level since July 17. Investors sent shares plunging on worry about growth in both the euro zone and here in the U.S.
A spate of central bank interest rate decisions on Thursday reinforced the widespread opinion that concerns about growth outweigh concerns about inflation.
Specifically, the ECB and Bank of England both held interest rates steady while Sweden's Riksbank and Indonesia's central bank both raised rates by 25 basis points in moves that analysts said were likely to be their last upward tweaks in 2008.
Meanwhile, Lehman Brothers has dropped a flag on the overseas play. They’ve downgraded the European food sector and the household personal care and cosmetics sector to "neutral" from "positive," citing in part the falling consumer confidence across key emerging markets and risks of an undiscounted slowdown in sales.
And to make matters worse Brazil's stocks tumbled on to a one-year low on Thursday as a decline in crude prices weighed on energy giant Petrobras , while a gloomy outlook on the global economy pressured shares of mining company Vale and local steelmakers.
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What’s the trade?
“It looks as if the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Indx has a good base around 35,” says emerging markets specialist Tim Seymour on Fast Money. Or if you want to buy Russia right now, I think you’ll be happy in a few years. But both are long term plays.”
The Bottom Line: If you want to play overseas, do so with ETFs.
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Trader disclosure: On Sept 4, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (WMT), (UUP), (ATVI), (MSFT), (CY), (EMC): Adami Owns (C), (GS), (INTC), (AGU), (BTU), (MSFT), (NUE): Finerman Owns (GS): Finerman's Firm Owns (AAPL) Call: Finerman's Firm Owns (AEO), (MSFT), (NOK), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO), (JCP), (JNJ), (RIG), (PDE); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C) Leaps; Finerman's Firm Is Short (BAC), (XLF), (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (COF), (WFC), (BBT), (WB); Finerman's Firm Owns (JCG) Calls. (IRF) Calls: Pete Najarian Owns (AAPL) And (AAPL) Collar; Pete Najarian Owns (LEH) Call Spread, (LEH) Put Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (LMT) Put Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (MS) And Is Short (MS) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (NOK) And Is Short (NOK) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (XLF) And (XLF) Collar
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