Wall Street bit its collective nails today, with fear mounting that the Fed meeting tomorrow will result in a rate cut of only 25 basis points rather than the 50 traders crave. The Dow fell 39.10 to 13,403.42, the S&P 500 dipped 7.60 to 1,476.65, and underperforming tech hauled the Nasdaq down 20.52 to 2,581.66.
NYSE losers outnumbered winners 11 to 5. Crude futures set another record, adding to the pessimism. Coca-Cola finished down 2%, and Microsoft fell 1.2% on bad legal news from Europe. Financials also plummeted, following UK lender Northern Rock, which hit a 7-year low after borrowing emergency government funds. GM, meanwhile, was up 3%, showing investor optimism over ongoing labor talks. (Read more stock market stories.)