Mild Losses as Street Waits

Bailout hopes soften poor economic news
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2008 3:47 PM CDT
Traders crowd the post that handles National City Corp. on the New York Stock Exchange floor today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Stocks closed with only mild losses during a volatile session today as traders closely watched Capitol Hill mull over the bailout plan, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow closed down 19.59 at 10,831.07. The Nasdaq lost 22.48, closing at 2,069.40, while the S&P 500 dropped 5.30 to close at 1,161.06.

“Given the political capital invested by all sides, we think that ultimately a deal will be reached,” one analyst said, a reflection the market’s general consensus. The hope that the bailout will bring stability helped soften poor economic news: The Institute for Supply Management’s index of manufacturing activity fell more than expected, to 43.5% from 49.9% in August—with less than 50% signaling contraction.