That day may have come Monday after the government came to the rescue again, providing $326 billion to save CitiGroup. Citi, which was above $55 at the end of 2006 and as high as $22 as late as early October, had slipped to almost $3 a share as the extent of its losses from mortgage-backed derivatives came to the surface.
Citi shares shot up and closed at $5.95 Monday on news of the government bailout, and the stock market loved the Citi news and the economic team announced by President-Elect Obama, recording its second big up day in a row. Financial stocks such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and many others led the way up. The financial sector is a long ways from marking predicted moving average crossovers to the upside on VantagePoint charts, but the first signs of an upturn are visible and bottoms may be in place.
But while enjoying the short-term euphoria from government injection of funds into financial firms, keep one thing in mind: The piper will have to be paid eventually. Unless the financial system has a complete meltdown, any recovery in markets will likely come with higher inflation rates and other consequences that will have as much of an impact on investment accounts as the recent stock market slump.