Dow Tumbles 332, Below 8,000

Obama inauguration can't break Street's gloom
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 3:21 PM CST
Traders watch the inaugural speech of President Barack Obama on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange today.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A spirit of optimism swept through America today as Barack Obama was sworn in—except on Wall Street, where financial trouble at home and in the UK sent the Dow below 8,000 for the first time since November, the Journal reports. The Dow fell 332.13 to close at 7,949.09. The Nasdaq shed 88.47, settling at 1,440.86, and the S&P 500 closed down 44.90 at 805.22.

The British government prepared to bail out banks riddled with losses, and the US-listed shares of Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays plummeted 73% and 41%, respectively. The news of unexpected losses at State Street hit US financials hard, with Bank of America down 27.6%, Citigroup falling 17.7%, and State Street itself losing 59%. The SPDR, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the financial sector, fell 15% to a record low of $8.21.