The Corner

“Stocks Slump on Gloomy Economic Omens; Dow Sheds 733 Points”

Here:

Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday in the face of new indications that the economic downturn could be a prolonged one. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 733.08 points, or almost 8 percent, to 8,577.91, and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 9 percent, wiping out most of the gains from Monday’s big rally.

The sell-off reflected the likelihood that serious dislocations will plague the economy even if the coordinated bailouts announced this week succeed in restoring confidence to credit markets. Retail sales decreased 1.2 percent last month, nearly double the 0.7 percent drop that had been expected, and the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben S.

Bernanke, warned that the economy faced a difficult period.

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