Berkshire Hathaway Bounces Back From 7% Plunge To Avoid Closing Below $100,000


Berkshire Hathaway shares traded below $100,000 for the first time in over two years today, but they did not close in five-digit territory.

At their lowest today (Thursday) just about three hours before the closing bell, Berkshire shares hit $96,050, a drop of 7.05% on the day.

The stock then rallied along with the rest of the market, closing at $102,800. Berkshire hasn't closed below $100,000 since October 20, 2006.

While Berkshire avoided that distinction today, its loss of $533 (0.52%) does bring it to a fresh two-year closing low.

The stock is down 31.1 percent from its all-time closing high of $149,200 last December.

Berkshire's downdraft, and a weak earnings report for the third quarter, are prompting some talk that Warren Buffett has lost his touch.

CNBC's David Faber reported yesterday that some investors are shorting Berkshire in the wake of Friday's quarterly results.

Investor Doug Kass had been short Berkshire for most of the year, before covering that position at a profit in August. Now he has a new summary of what he sees as Buffett's mistakes over the past few years in a post on headlined Warren Buffett Has Lost His Groove.

And what about the argument that Buffett invests for the long term, making short-term setbacks unimportant? Kass writes, "Buffett's notion of long term is now becoming a convenient shroud to poorly timed investments."

"Is the notion of long term now irrelevant, particularly given Warren Buffett's age and the likelihood that sooner than later he will be succeeded by one or several new individuals at Berkshire's helm? Is it irrelevant ... in a possible multiyear bear market or in an economy that faces headwinds we haven't seen in decades? Or is it just one of those tautologies that it is safe to buy in the long term?"

Yes, Buffett has been counted out before. See 1999, for example.

But this time, Kass contends, it's different.


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