Markets Dive Following Paulson Remarks
A day that began with a 200-point loss on the Dow -- losses that were largely recovered during trading -- ended with a 189-point loss in a sudden dive in the 15 minutes following the conclusion of remarks by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who delivered a "here's where we are" speech this afternoon.
The Dow closed down 2 percent. The S&P 500 closed down a little more than 1 percent; the Nasdaq, a little less than 1 percent.
Maybe Paulson should wait until 4 p.m. -- when the markets close -- to deliver his next speech.
What caused the last-minute Dow dive?
Possibly this line from Paulson's speech: "We expect it will be several weeks before our first purchase" of the toxic assets using the $700 billion Wall Street bailout/rescue plan.
Maybe that's not soon enough for Wall Street. On CNBC, some traders are asking, "What will it take to restore confidence in the markets?" Yet it's the traders themselves who push the markets to their extremes.
Or maybe it was this line: "It's too early to look for encouraging signs in the credit market."
What we do know is that Wall Street seemed to pay little attention to these lines from Paulson's speech:
- "I remain confident that we will work through this challenge," and "Despite our problems, the U.S. economy is the largest and wealthiest in the world."
-- Frank Ahrens
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