Stock Market Crashes

October 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

stock-men.jpgWall Street capped its worst week ever with a wild session Friday that left stocks with a widely mixed finish.

Late-day buying helped curb steep losses and gave the market its best showing of the week as investors snapped up bargains among stocks devastated by seven days of massive losses.

The Nasdaq composite index finished with a modest gain, while the Dow Jones industrials lost 128 points, a relatively mild drop after the blue chips fell 2,271 during the previous eight trading days. Still, the Dow, which traded in a range of 1,019 points Friday, had its worst week ever, as did the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

The hair-trigger mentality of the market was evident from the opening bell. The Dow fell 696 points in the first 15 minutes, recovered to an advance of more than 100 before the first hour was over, then turned sharply lower again before moving in swings of hundreds of points at the day’s end.

Investors have spent much of the past month agonizing over a credit market that remains frozen, posing a threat to the economy. But Friday’s gainers included financial stocks, the ones most decimated amid the ongoing banking and credit crisis.

The major indexes’ sharp swings throughout the day were likely exacerbated by the computer-driven “buy” and “sell” orders that kicked in when prices fell far enough to make some stocks look like attractive bets or make other investors want to exit the market. The spurts of buying didn’t reflect an easing of the market’s despair, and trading is likely to remain volatile when the market reopens on Monday.

“Fear has been running rampant all over the Street. Fear and greed, that’s what rules the Street. I think the carcass has been stripped to the bone,” said Dave Henderson, a floor trader on the New York Stock Exchange for Raven Securities Corp.

According to preliminary calcuations, the Dow fell 128.00, or 1.49 percent, to 8,451.49. At its low point Friday, the Dow was down 696 at 7,882.51, just 60 points above its low in Wall Street’s last bear market, 7,286.27, reached Oct. 9, 2002.

Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 10.70 or 1.18 percent, to 899.22, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 4.39, or 0.27 percent, to 1,649.51.

Source: AP

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Entry filed under: Finances, National. Tags: , , .

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