Wild Day on Wall Street

The roller coaster metaphor for describing stock market activity has become, considering everything we have gone through over the last month, a cliche. So we will dispense with the roller coaster -- goodbye roller coaster! -- and describe today's market activity as a bungee cord jump from a very high bridge. Boing. Boing.

At one point today, the Dow was down 782 points -- the largest ever single-day point drop. But then it started to creep back. Down 650. Down 600. Down 500. Down 400. Finally, the Dow closed down 349 points, or 3.6 percent. The S&P 500 finished down 42 points, or 3.8 percent. The Nasdaq was off 84 points, or 4.3 percent.

What's behind the wild activity? For the most part, it's anyone's guess right now. But at some point, investors start seeing certain stocks as bargains, buying them up when the going gets really cheap.

As the markets closed, comments heard around the financial desk here at the Post included, "Hey, it came back" to "Nice rally." And that's with a 300 point decline. What a day.

-- Michael S. Rosenwald

October 6, 2008; 4:07 PM ET  | Category:  business
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I was thinking roller coaster and then I thought about amusements and it's looking like bumper cars. They used crash cars when robbing banks. The crash car would wreck the police car, so the getaway car could getaway. After this week, everybody might need a getaway and won't have enough cash for fuel to getaway with. Maybe oil will drop and that will solve some problems. A GUY CAN ONLY HOPE SO.

Posted by: JD in PA | October 6, 2008 4:22 PM

Are you better off than you were eight years ago?

GAS Prices January 19, 2001: $1.45/Gallon
GAS Prices October 6, 2008: $ 3.89/Gallon

DOW January 19, 2001: 10,587.59
DOW October 6, 2008: 9,955.50

NASDAQ Jan 19, 2001: 2770.38
NASDAQ October 6, 2008: 1862.96

CPI, January 19, 2001: 175
CPI, September, 2008: 315

Dollar exchange with Euro, Jan. 19, 2001: 1.068
Dollar exchange with Euro, October 6, 2008: .733

Are you better off than you were eight years ago?
Better yet, are you ready for another four years same as last eight?

Posted by: Kane | October 7, 2008 8:10 AM

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