Stocks plummeted today, as actions by the Federal Reserve to prop up the commercial-paper market and hints of an interest-rate cut from Ben Bernanke failed to restore investors’ confidence, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dow fell 508.39 to 9,447.11. The Nasdaq shed 108.08, closing at 1,754.88, and the S&P 500 lost 60.66 to settle at 996.23.
Financials led stocks lower, soured in part by rumors that Mitsubishi-UFJ may renege on its agreement to buy a stake in Morgan Stanley. The bank denied the reports, but its shares fell 25% anyway. Alcoa is set to kick off the third-quarter earnings report season after the bell today, and traders fear that a series of bleak updates will depress equities even further.