As bad as things are for Maple Leaf Foods Inc., at least shareholders can console themselves with the knowledge that the rest of the North American stock market does not look a whole lot better on Monday at midday.
Things are particularly grim in the United States, where another regional bank failure - the ninth this year, for those keeping track - and concerns about financial writedowns dragged the whole market down.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 226 points, or 1.9 per cent, to 11,402. There was a sudden 100-point swoon just before noon as the sell-off among financials intensified. All 30 stocks in the index were down. American International Group Inc. led the selling, falling 5.3 per cent after analysts at Credit Suisse Group predicted the insurance giant will report a loss of $2.4-billion (U.S.) this quarter, thanks to writedowns associated with turbulence in the U.S. mortgage market.
The broader S&P 500 fell 16 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 1276. There, all 10 subindexes were deep in negative territory. Energy stocks fared the best, so to speak, falling 0.7 per cent, after the price of crude oil dipped 35 cents, to $114.24 a barrel.
Meanwhile, financials fell 2.5 per cent, consumer discretionary stocks fell 2.3 per cent, industrials fell 2.1 per cent and, well, you get the picture.
Looking for a little shelter? Amazingly, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enjoyed some midday gains, rising 5.4 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, after investors bet that a government bailout either won't be necessary or will at least preserve common shareholders. Their renewed confidence came from Freddie Mac's sale of $2-billion worth of short-term debt on Monday.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index slumped 160 points, to 13,288. There, eight of the 10 subindexes were down and the remaining two were essentially flat.
Information technology stocks, dominated by Research In Motion Ltd., were hit the hardest, falling 2 per cent. Industrials fell 1.1 per cent, financials fell 0.9 per cent and consumer staples fell 0.8 per cent. Even energy and materials were down, falling 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively - dooming the commodity-heavy index. to a difficult day.