On a quiet post-New Year’s Friday, two of the most widely followed stocks disappeared from Quotrons and trading screens around the world: MER and WB.
As Merrill Lynch and Wachovia begin their new lives as the foster children of Bank of America and Wells Fargo respectively, the question remains, what will happen to their orphaned call letters? Do they end up on the Island of Misfit Ticker Symbols?
As for MER, I never thought I’d ever see the day where Merrill Lynch didn’t have a trade-able stock. Incomprehensible! In the case of Wachovia, they came out of nowhere and arrived on the national scene as quickly as they disappeared. WB will be missed, but not as much as the Herd’s symbol.
What does the future hold for these two vagabond ticker’s? Will another company come along and make use of them? Maybe NYC eatery the Mermaid Inn will go public? Perhaps a Warner Brothers spin off will be attempted? Who knows?
Then again, we can always hold out hope that Merrill gets it’s act together and is deemed worthy of reemerging from B of A as a rejuvenated subsidiary with it’s own common shares. Lehman Brothers climbed out from under American Express after all (bad example).
If anyone is interested in MER or WB, contact the NYSE for details on how your company can trade under one of the most well-known ticker symbols in Wall Street history.
Full Disclosure: I am currently long LEHMQ and WFC in client accounts.