Wall Street Dives Out of Gates
The Dow dropped almost immediately on opening and has been down more than 250 points in the first 30 minutes of trading.
The S&P 500 is down about 3 percent and the Nasdaq is down a little more than 2 percent.
Stocks being hit particularly hard today include Caterpillar, Alcoa, American Express and Citigroup, each of which is trading down 5 percent.
The radical swings over the beginning of this week should give Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) plenty to talk about during the final presidential debate of this campaign tonight at 9 p.m.
Also, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks today shortly after noon.
The gains of Monday's historic rally are being erased, now that the hubub over the various rescue/stimulus packages is starting to die down and Wall Street must now focus on the hard fundamentals of the economy and businesses.
In separate venues this morning, President Bush and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said that they each see the economy getting better over time.
"This will take time. There will be challenges," Paulson said on ABC's "Good Morning America." He said he was initially against the partial nationalization of U.S. banks, but rapidly evolving circumstances changed his mind.
"There's no doubt that the way to get the maximum bang for the taxpayers here was to invest in banks," Paulson said.
Bush said there was no alternative to the nationalization steps.
"They are necessary and I'm confident in the long run, that this economy will come back," he said.
-- Frank Ahrens
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