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Quote of the Day

“In the end, alchemy, whether it is metallurgical or financial, fails. A base business cannot be transformed into a golden business by tricks of accounting or capital structure.”

-Warren Buffett, in his 1989 letter to shareholders.

January 15th – This Day in Stock Market History

January 15th, 1999 –  Market Watch IPOs at $17 per share, and closes the day at $97.50 per share, for a one day gain of 474%. At the time, the MarketWatch IPO would be the 2nd largest first day gain in history, behind only TheGlobe’s IPO on November 13th, 1998.

Shares traded has high as $130 per share, up 665% on the day. The trading gave MarketWatch a value of $1.1 billion. The company had reported a loss of $8.2 million, on revenue of $4.5 million over the first 9 months of 1998.

marketwatch IPO 1999 tech bubble
MarketWatch home page in 1999

MarketWatch would eventually be purchased by Dow Jones (who runs the Wall Street Journal) in 2004 for $519 million, or $18 per share.

Source: Wall Street Journal, and Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation

Best January 15th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1934 – Up 4.59%, 4.53 points.

Worst January 15th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1931 – Down 2.77%, 4.64 points.

Read of the Day

While the tech bubble was inflating, it captivated the attention of the whole country. Many quit their jobs to day trade tech stocks, or start up internet companies of their own. From the smallest of investors, to the largest of companies, very few were able to separate themselves from the hype and think rationally.

That is the subject of one of Jason Zweig’s columns in the Wall Street journal, that (like all of his pieces), is a great and interesting quick read. Check it out here:

Escaping The Magnetic Pull of a Bubble – Jason Zweig

<– Go To Previous Day: January 14th: 2000 – Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches tech-bubble peak.

Go To Next Day: January 16th: Zimbabwe unveils the largest banknote in history, the $100 trillion bill. –>