Battered Markets Crawl Into 2009

2008 finishes as the worst year for the Dow since 1931
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2009 9:22 AM CST
A gallery view of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday Dec. 31, 2008.    (AP Photos/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – Weary relief that 2008 was finally over greeted the final bell at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, but shaken investors worry about what 2009 holds, the New York Times reports. The final tally confirmed that the year was the worst for stockholders since the Great Depression. Stock plunges across the board wiped out the gains of the previous 6 years, erasing $7 trillion in wealth.

Analysts say the financial crisis has shifted the epicenter of the financial world from Wall Street to Washington. Investors desperate for a safe haven are snapping up secure but low-yield Treasury securities. Money managers—even ones usually firmly against state intervention—are looking to government policymakers to turn things around, although many fear recovery could take years.