Friday, 7 May 2010

Vocabulary: Take It Down a Thou(sand)!

Image from Getty Images

Do you read finance news? Every day I wake up in the morning, I will switch on the computer and scan through all finance news. Whenever I pick up an English newspaper, the Business page is always the first page I read. As a result, I learn lots of financial terms.

Like I have always stressed on the importance of variety, and today, I read an article on that is masterfully written as it demonstrates the use of variety.

Please read the following article and note that the words in bold:


U.S., Asia Stocks Tumble as Debt Concern Spurs Electronic Rout

By Darren Boey

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks tumbled the most in a year as waves of computerized trading exacerbated a selloff triggered by Europe’s debt crisis, sparking a slide in Asian shares.
The rout briefly erased more than $1 trillion in U.S. market value as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 1,000 points, a 9.2 percent plunge that was its biggest intraday percentage loss since 1987 and largest point drop ever, before paring declines. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled 2.7 percent as of 11:57 a.m. in Tokyo. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slumped 1.5 percent. Markets began to stabilize with Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rising 0.5 percent and the euro gaining 2.7 percent against the yen on speculation policy makers from the Group of Seven nation’s will act to stem contagion from Greece’s fiscal crisis.     “People are selling in a panic,” said Hisakazu Amano, who helps oversee the equivalent of $22 billion at T&D Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “Investors will put money back into risk assets when the Greece issues cool down.”
U.S. stocks were pummeled yesterday amid concerns debt problems will infect other countries in Europe. Computerized trading sent to electronic networks turned the decline into a rout, prompting scrutiny from U.S. regulators. The Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said it will cancel trades of stocks that moved more than 60 percent. New York Stock Exchange spokesman Rich Adamonis said “there were a number of erroneous trades.”
Japan’s Nikkei was headed for its lowest close since March 5, with companies reliant on European exports leading declines. South Korea’s Kospi Index sank 1.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.5 percent, led by HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank.
Futures Advance
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 1.3 percent to 935.83, extending this week’s retreat to 8.3 percent, the biggest decline since Feb. 20, 2009.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.5 percent to 1,127.70. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell as much as 8.6 percent, its biggest intraday plunge since December 2008, before closing down 3.2 percent at 1,128.15. The Dowaverage closed 3.2 percent lower at 10,520.32. It was the biggest percentage drop on a closing basis since April 20, 2009, for both measures.
The euro rose against the yen and the dollar after Japanese Finance MinisterNaoto Kan said G-7 nations will discuss Greece’s fiscal woes in a conference call today following the slump in stocks. The euro strengthened to 117.43 yen from 114.32 yesterday in New York, when it reached 110.70, the lowest since December 2001. Europe’s currency climbed to $1.2694 from $1.2620.
‘Some Relief’
Treasuries fell, paring the steepest weekly gain in eight months as U.S. stock futures rose, eroding demand for the relative safety of the nation’s debt. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose five basis points to 3.44 percent, according to BGCantor Market Data. The 3.625 percent security due February 2020 fell 3/8, or $3.75 per $1,000 face amount, to 101 17/32.
“There’s some relief in the flight to quality,” said Tomohisa Fujiki, an interest-rate strategist in Tokyo at BNP Paribas Securities Japan Ltd. The company’s U.S. branch is one of 18 primary dealers that trade government debt with the Federal Reserve.
Crude oil rose 0.4 percent to $77.42 a barrel, paring the biggest weekly decline in 10 months. Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange lost as much as 2.7 percent to $6,760 a metric ton, and traded at $6,780. Europe’s debt crisis dragged prices down by 8.8 percent this week, the most since the week ending Dec. 5, 2008.
To contact the reporter for this story: Darren Boey at in Hong Kong
Last Updated: May 7, 2010 00:00 EDT


Most people reading this will be overwhelmed by this terrible news and the situation, but I am impressed! I now copy those bold words from the article and list them below:

exacerbated a selloff 
sparking a slide 
erased more than $1 trillion in U.S. market value
biggest intraday percentage loss 
largest point drop
People are selling in a panic
U.S. stocks were pummeled
turned the decline into a rout
Japan’s Nikkei was headed for its lowest close since March 5
extending this week’s retreat to 8.3 percent
paring the steepest weekly gain
dragged prices down

Look at just how many different ways there are to express the meaning "down"!!! Amazing, isn't it?

So the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell almost a 1000 points! If you were watching the charts on your computer monitor at moment, I suppose you might be having a cardiac arrest!

Image from AP

Here's a joke I invented just a minute ago,

I'm imagining Marcus, a guy who had invested his entire life-savings into the US stock market, having a cardiac arrest while witnessing the market plunging, and Dude was trying to save his sorry friend's life by offering him a CPR (or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in length).

Dude shouted,
"Damn, Marcus! Damn!"

Due to the lack of oxygen, Marcus' hearing was impeded, so instead of hearing his own name, he heard "Markets".

"Damn, Markets! Damn!"

With all his will, Marcus took his breath of life and asked Dude,
"How... bad ... is it now?"

His friend Dude, still shocked after seeing his good friend collapsed, didn't hear the words and continued to press Marcus' chest,
"Damn, Marcus (Markets)! Stay with me!"
"How... bad ... now?", Marcus murmured.
"Damn! Marcus (Markets)! Take it down a thousand, man!" Dude shouted.

Over-shocked, Marcus collapsed again. His breathing stopped and he had no pulse. Dude had learnt his CPR well so he knew that his chest or abdominal compression had to be rhythmic, so he did the counting while performing the compressions. Just before Marcus' brain stopped functioning, he heard Dude shouting,

"Damn! Markets! 1000! 2000! 3000!"

Will-less, Marcus pushed up daisies.

tumble -- [I] to fall a lot in value in a short time
exacerbate -- (vb) [T] to make something which is already bad worse
plunge -- (vb) [I or T usually + adverb / prep] to (cause someone or something to) move or fall suddenly and often a long way forward, down or into something
pummel -- [T] to hit someone or something repeatedly, especially with your fists (=closed hands)
rout -- (n) [C] defeat
retreat -- (n) [C usually singular U] a move back by soldiers or an army, either because they have been defeated or in order to avoid fighting
pare -- (vb) [T often + adverb / prep ] to reduce something, especially by a large amount
erode -- (vb)[I or T] to slowly reduce or destroy
impede -- (vb) [T formal] to slow down or cause problems for the achievement or finishing of something
murmur -- (vb) [I or T]  to speak or say very quietly
Take it down a thousand -- calm down

abdominal -- (adj) related to lower part of a person's or animal's body, which contains the stomach, bowels and other organs, or the end of an insect's body
rhythmic -- (adj) describes a sound with a regular movement or beat which is repeated

"Will-less" -- (adj) [improper & derived] derived from the word, wilful, will-less will thus mean, having no will to live in this case.
push up daisies -- (slang) To be dead and buried