A ballpoint pen or a share of stock?

AP writer Mark Williams has a telling breakdown on the stock values of some major companies. I'll give you the highlights with up-to-the-minute prices: Office Depot's stock is down from $38 to $1.11. A package of ballpoint pens goes for $1.89.

Citigroup shares are going for $2.86, about the cost of one ATM transaction.

Hovnanian, one of the country's biggest homebuilders, is going for 88 cents. I don't think you can copy a set a keys for that.

GM's share price is lower than the cost of a spark plug. You can buy New York Times stock for less than the cost of the Sunday edition. GE shares aren't even worth the price of a toaster.

The AP story sums it up:

The bargain-basement stock prices of America's best known companies present either the greatest opportunity of a lifetime - or the biggest money pit this side of the Great Depression.

The money pit being a company that winds up going under -- i.e. Circuit City.

So, which do you think it is -- opportunity or money pit?

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