"The notion behind this sentiment is that buyers and sellers, in an efficient market, will account for the dividend by dropping the price of the stock a similar amount. So no, the stock price will NOT "adjust down" the amount of the dividend."
Yes, it will. From that adjusted price normal market forces will take it wherever normal market forces will, which means it may not open at the adjusted price - it could open higher or lower or in fact it could open at the adjusted price. In any case, the mandated adjusted price is the basis upon which the stock is determined to be up or down. So make no mistake, "some external action" does indeed adjust the price down at the open on the ex-date by the amount of the dividend.
"You do realize, of course, that the stock price will be adjusted down one dollar at Monday's open, don't you?"
Since this statement implies some external action, I wanted to make the comment that there is absolutely NOTHING that forces this to occur.
The notion behind this sentiment is that buyers and sellers, in an efficient market, will account for the dividend by dropping the price of the stock a similar amount. Since the stock market is far from efficient, this rarely happens.
So no, the stock price will NOT "adjust down" the amount of the dividend. It may drop in price a similar amount due to market activity, or more, or less, or even rise (although that would be odd).
More likely, it will settle somewhat lower than the price it was when the dividend was announced ($6.85).
Mon 19th is ex-div. Wed 21st is date-of-record. So, because of the weekend, to be on the books as an owner of the stock I believe you must own by today, Fri 16th, and hold at least till Mon 19th to get the special dividend.