Baseball fans have their sac flies and Ks. Techies have their bit-rates and DDR SDRAM. And so does the investment world boast its own foggy terminology. Here’s a guide to deciphering some of the insider lingo spouted by stockbrokers and pundits. (Our thanks to the jargon cops at Investopedia.com.)
BACK UP THE TRUCK: To buy large quantities of an attractive stock.
BIG UGLIES: Those old-economy bulwark companies — mining, steel, oil, etc.
DEAD CAT BOUNCE: A small uptick by a stock or an entire market after a prolonged decline. From the old saying, “Even a dead cat will bounce if dropped from high enough.”
EBITDA: Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. During the tech boom of the late Nineties, EBITDA was sometimes used to dress up a company’s otherwise disappointing earnings.
FALLING KNIFE: A stock whose price has plunged rapidly. You don’t want to catch one.
JENNIFER LOPEZ OR J-LO: Refers to a rounding bottom in a stock’s price pattern over time. Means expectations are shifting from bearish to bullish.
LEADING LIPSTICK INDICATOR: Theory coined by Leonard Lauder of Estée Lauder; holds that when consumers are worried about the future, they turn to less expensive indulgences, such as lipstick.
PUMP AND DUMP: Illegal Internet scam wherein some investors buy a stock, then recommend it to thousands of investors. When the stock soars, the early buyers sell off.
TRIPLE WITCHING HOUR: The third Friday of March, June, September, and December, when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, and stock options all expire on the same day.
ZOMBIES: AKA “the living dead,” these are insolvent companies that could shut down at any minute.