Robert was finishing up a late-breaking cartoon for tomorrow (combining the Friday night debates with the collapses in Washington and New York today), and he mentioned he’d heard that the Dow had its biggest one-day drop in history today.
I said nah — it was bad, but not that bad. He was right; I was wrong. Turns out that was the GOOD news. Other indexes did worse than the Dow.
By TIM PARADIS – AP Business Writer
NEW YORK — Wall Street’s worst fears came to pass Monday, when the government’s financial rescue plan failed in Congress and stocks plunged precipitously – hurtling the Dow Jones industrials down nearly 7 percent. The almost 780-point decline was the largest one-day point drop ever for the index.
The percentage declines for the Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes were even larger. And credit markets, whose turmoil helped feed the stock market’s angst, froze up further amid the growing belief that the country is headed into a spreading credit and economic crisis.
Stunned traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, their faces tense and mouths agape, watched on TV screens as the House voted down in midafternoon the administration’s $700 billion plan to buy up distressed mortgage securities. Activity on the floor became frenetic as the "sell" orders blew in.
The Dow told the story of the market’s despair. The blue chip index, dropped by hundreds of points in a matter of moments, and by the end of the day had passed by far its previous record for a one-day drop, 684.81, set in the first trading day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The selling was so intense that just 162 stocks rose on the NYSE – and 3,073 dropped.
It takes an incredible amount of fear to set off such an intense reaction on Wall Street, and the worry now is that with the rescue plan’s fate uncertain, no one knows how the financial sector hobbled by hundreds of billions of dollars in bad mortgage bets will recover….
Nice going there, Washington. Nice leadership. Got any more tricks up your sleeves? You hammerheads…