CNBC's Gasparino Joining the Plunge Protection Team?

Includes: AMBC, DIA, QQQ, SPY
by: Kevin S. Price

The Plunge Protection Team has a new name: Charlie Gasparino. Tuesday, for the second time in eight trading sessions, CNBC's "on-air editor" marched out to the cameras to report, near the depths of very weak intraday action, that some people, somewhere, were working on something related to propping up Ambac (ABK), the imperiled monoline insurer.*

"I'd be very careful about trading off this information," he warned us today. As if.

Here are two charts, the first from Friday, February 22, the second from Tuesday:

We heard the chatter about Cisco's John Chambers as well, but let's be honest: It's the Ambac thing that sparked the afternoon's animal spirits.


*Which reminds us of a great pad of post-it notes: The smiling face of a 1950s-era woman, implicitly a prototypical "secretary," next to the words "someone called...about something." The Bartleby-esque indifference of which strikes us as very, very funny.


Michael Patterson, "U.S. Stocks Rally in Final 30 Minutes, Gain for Week, on Ambac," Bloomberg, February 22, 2008

Michael Patterson, "U.S. Stocks Fall on Bernanke Plan, Oil's Retreat; Banks Decline," Bloomberg, March 4, 2008

Matthew R. Miller, "Cisco's Chambers 'Comfortable' With Long-Term Growth," Bloomberg, March 4, 2008