Phantom Strike Gives Market Fright

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This week’s flurry of so-so corporate earnings reports, combined with the cautious forward predictions of many companies, unnerved US financial markets. The final shock that sent stocks plummeting was the specter of a threatened October 31 strike by Phantom Union 103. Market watchers expect the fright-work stoppage to have a “quiver” effect that may well bring the notoriously skittish economy to a trembling halt.

The consequences are already casting a shadow over one of the largest players in the spirit market. Intergalactic Routing Service (NYSE: IRS), a leading expeditor of netherworld travel and shipping, announced a sharply pessimistic revenue outlook for the remainder of the year due to the anticipated disruption of the strike.

“Halloween transport is traditionally our biggest money maker,” said Jack O’Lantern, president and CEO of Intergalactic. “We hope the phantoms are only trying to rattle our chain with this threat.”

The company hit paydirt with the introduction of its services in 1999, and has been profitable since going public that year. Nonetheless, analysts immediately graveyarded the stock. One firm, Haunted Securities, went so far as to issue a bury rating.

S. Web, senior analyst at Haunted, said, “Over 78% of IRS business flits through the door on All Hallows Eve. They’re doomed. They’ll never recapture the magic after this.”

The outlook for Intergalactic might not be so bleak, however. According to officials of Phantom Union 103, though the clock is ticking toward midnight, there’s still the ghost of an opportunity to reach an agreement.

“We feel our demands are reasonable,” said one union member, who wished to remain unidentified. “We’re not asking for the moon.”

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