Stocks Slide for a Second Day

Bernanke speech, oil prices send markets down again
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2007 3:39 PM CDT
Crude oil futures traders work on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007 in New York. Oil futures rallied to new records Tuesday on concerns about disruptions in Middle...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Stocks slid today for a second consecutive session following an ambiguous speech by Ben Bernanke and record-busting oil prices that topped $88. The Fed chairman offered a so-so assessment of the markets but no clues about rate cuts. The Dow fell 71.86 to 13,912.94, the S&P dropped 10.18 to 1,538.53, and the Nasdaq lost 16.14 to close at 2,763.91.

The question about oil prices is just how high they'll have to go before consumers get spooked and stop spending, reports the Journal. "Whether consumers could absorb $4-a-gallon gasoline, I don't know," says an economist. Wells Fargo and KeyCorp reported earnings significantly below expectations today, which contributed to the slide.