Stocks Plunge on Housing Data

Volatile day ahead
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2008 8:50 AM CDT
A specialist rest his head in his hand as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Stocks dropped today at the open, after a dour housing report reaffirmed market pessimism. But the day is expected to be a volatile one, the Wall Street Journal reports, after yesterday’s wild session. The Dow dropped 221 points at the bell, with the S&P and Nasdaq dropping 2.6% and 2.4% respectively. President Bush again tried to calm markets and the country this morning, defending the government’s various interventions in the market.

“The government intervention is not a government takeover,” Bush said, promising that Washington’s role in the companies it invests in would be minimal. “We must not blur the line between the government and the private sector.” Mixed news greeted investors this morning, with new home construction down 6.3% to the lowest levels since 1991. But Google reported a 26% boom in profits, and was rewarded with a 9.8% stock boost.