Where autos and boats race to bottom
It's Friday afternoon, and after a crazy day in the markets (what else is new?) and the Dow closing under 8,400, we've just finished watching a race been boats and cars. Huh? Yes, it's been a race to the the bottom between the nation's largest auto retailer and the country's biggest boat retailer. Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation saw its shares fall faster than a faulty muffler. But Clearwater's MarineMax saw its shares sink faster than if it had punched holes in the hulls of its boats.
The tally as of the end of Friday's markets? AutoNation (stocker ticker: AN) closed at $4.43, down 14 percent today. And MarineMax (stock ticker: HZO) dropped 18 percent to $2.03 This is one painful limbo contest to watch.
Looking for something different to do Saturday that's free? Check out the annual Times Festival of Reading at USF St. Petersburg. I have the privilege of introducing author Kevin Phillips, author of many political-economic books but we'll focus particularly on 2008's prophetic Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis in American Capitalism. Here's my interview with Phillips. Come hear his remarks at the USF Campus Activities Center, Saturday, in St. Petersburg at 1:15 PM. Here are more details about the whole day and all the authors. Come visit!
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist