The 10 Most Defining Market Moments Of 2011

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10.  David Einhorn Savages Green Mountain – In mid-October, the hedge fund manager took on one of the hottest stocks in the market, releasing a 110-slide presentation on why Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was his newest short position.

9.  Muddy Waters Slams Sino-Forest – On June 2nd, there was a massive sell-off in shares of Canadian company Sino Forest, a timber concern with it’s assets in China.  Sino Forest had become the latest quarry of noted short-seller and research analyst Carson Block of Muddy Waters.

8.  Raj Rajaratnam Convicted – As the proverbial big fish stemming from a massive investigation into hedge fund insider trading, Raj Rajaratnam had become the focal point of law enforcement’s desire to score a big win.

7.  Silver Bulls Crushed at the Hunt Brothers High – In late 1979, the Hunt Brothers famously attempted to corner the market in silver and eventually drove the price up to an all-time high of $48.70 per ounce by early 1980.

6.  MF Global Files for Bankruptcy – For months, shares of MF Global were trading as though something was wrong but market participants just chalked it up to the general fear surrounding financial stocks, particularly those with brokerage operations.

5.  Bank of America in Free Fall – Of all the spectacular crashing and burning of 2011, nothing even comes close to the destruction in shares of Bank of America, a company that lost almost two thirds of its market capitalization over the last 12 months.

4.  Gold Goes Parabolic – This summer, when the rubber began hitting the road in terms of borrowing costs for sovereigns like Italy, gold finally lived up to the safe haven hype.

3.  Greek PM Calls for Referendum – Markets around the world had been smashed beginning in August and culminating with the early October lows.  As one of the worst-run and most highly indebted of the 17-nation Euro Zone, Greece was the main focus of the turmoil.

2.  S&P Downgrades the United States – Yes, Congress ultimately came to an agreement to put off any real decision in time for the normally automatic debt ceiling “deadline”. But it was too late, Standard & Poors looked at the political trauma (and it’s own reputation of always being behind the curve) and decided to act.

1.  Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple – We knew that one day, the cancer in Steve Jobs’s liver would force him out, but we were never truly prepared for theThe 10 Most Defining Market Moments Of 2011announcement to come.  After fourteen years at the helm of Apple and one of the most miraculous corporate turnarounds in history, on August 24th Jobs told Apple that he could no longer serve the company in his condition.

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