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Ouch! The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 800 points in trading today, but ended down 369 at the closing bell. The new reality: the Dow is below the 10-thousand mark for the first time since 2004.
Bailout to the rescue? Ahh, not so quick.
Investors are nervous about $700 billion "rescue" plan approved by Congress last week.
"Everybody thought that the bailout was a panacea. But it's not. It's a tourniquet that stops the bleeding so the patient doesn't die right away," said Dan Genter, president and CEO at RNC Genter Capital Management.
Tonight on 360, we're looking at what all this means for you and your family. CNN's Senior Business Correspondent Ali Velshi will explain what's going on and what we can expect in the days and weeks ahead.
We're also on the trail with just 29 days until the election.
A new national CNN/Opinion research corporation poll shows the country's financial crisis (and other factors) have given Barack Obama a bigger lead over John McCain in the race for the White House.
53 percent of likely voters questioned in the poll say they are backing Obama for president, with 45 percent supporting Senator McCain. That eight-point lead is double the four-point lead Obama held in the last CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, taken in mid-September.
With poll numbers down, the McCain-Palin ticket is now playing the association game. It's raising questions about Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, a founding member of the radical Weather Underground. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists who target their own country."
Tonight, we'll look at Obama's links to Mr. Ayers. Is the accusation justified? Let us know what you think
Though all of this, Obama is staying on message with the issue voters care most about: the econmy.
"I have got news for the mccain campaign... the American people are losing right now. they are losing their jobs. They are losing their health care. They are losing their homes and their savings. T cannot imagine anything more important to talk about than the economic crisis and the notion that we would want to brush that aside and engage in the usual political shenanigans and smear tactics that have come to characterize too many campaigns", Obama said this morning.
Don't miss the raw politics tonight on 360, 10pm ET.
Susan Lisovicz | Bio
CNN Financial Correspondent
We all knew it was going to be a bad day. A trader was wearing a Dow 10,000 cap before the open. When those hats were passed out a decade ago during the long bull market, every day on the trading floor was like a cocktail party. Now you might as well wear a hard hat the way stocks are falling.
The Dow fell below 10,000 very early into trading. There was some yelling on the floor but it was subdued. Everybody knew there was more to go.
By the afternoon there were fewer than 100 stocks moving higher at the NYSE. 3,100 were selling off. Everybody was wondering if this was going to be The Big One. When the Dow surpassed last Monday's loss, there was much more spirited shouting on the floor. It was 2:45pm, and unless stocks really fell off the cliff, there would be no halt in trading at that late hour.
But then a funny thing happened. Buyers stepped in and traders were disappointed. They wanted to see the big cathartic purge that often establishes a floor to the selling.
It didn't happen today. But we're early into October, a month that has a unique association with falling markets.
Political Desk Senior Editor
Two moments from the John McCain rally in Albuquerque, and the Sarah Palin rally in Estero, FL that demonstrate some of the emotions on the trail this week.
In Albuquerque, CNN's Tasha Diakides notes that as McCain said, “All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama”, someone in the crowd yelled “Terrorist.”
In Estero, a local sheriff was addressing the crowd before Sarah Palin entered the room. Sheriff Mike Scott of Lee County, FL said, “On November 4th, let’s leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what happened.” As the crowd cheered, he gave a forceful salute.
Moments earlier, Lee said, “We have an opportunity to put a tag team in the White House whose loyalty, allegiance and honor in this country, and record of service, have never been questioned.”
In March, McCain rebuked a conservative radio talk show host in Cincinnati when Bill Cunningham repeatedly referred to Barack Hussein Obama while warming up the crowd at a McCain rally, before McCain was on stage.
And from Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt:
As our own Jack Gray said in his blog today, it is another manic Monday…and that ain’t a good thing. I decided today it was time to suck it up and check my 401(k) – wow. It probably looks a lot like yours. I think I’ll hold off checking in on it for a while… a long while.
But worrying about a retirement decades away seems trivial when you learn the number of homeless families in Massachusetts is skyrocketing, just as the unforgiving cold of a New England winter is arriving. In just one year – from September 2007 to September 2008 – the number of homeless families living in Massachusetts motels has jumped form 17 to 550. There are another 1,800 families in shelters. The executive director of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless calls the current combination of our sinking economy, rising energy costs, rising unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing a “perfect storm”. Never a welcome term in these parts.
On top of those sobering numbers, for the first time, the state is now tracking how many families are ending up homeless because of foreclosures.
Our colleagues at CNN Money has been working overtime to make sure you have not only the most current information on the financial crisis, but also the most useful. We all have questions about how this continued downturn (some 60% of Americans believe we’re headed for the other “D” word: DEPRESSION), CNN Money has answers in a special report online.
I can’t imagine the agony this mother felt as she clung to her daughter 25 feet in the air, stranded on a carnival ride. As her daughter, Gracie, is pleading, “Help, Mommy!” this Florida Mom has to decide if the best way to help her 2-year-old is to let her fall, hopefully into the arms of someone on the ground. And it turns out, little Gracie wasn’t the only child stuck high above the ground, six more children were found in the ride when Gracie’s mom was rescued.
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Republican vice-presidential candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin, gets a hug from Sen. Joe Lieberman before a campaign speech Monday morning.
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Ali Velshi | Bio
CNN Senior Business Correspondent
Editor's Note: Today, CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez asked CNN Senior Business Correspondent Ali Velshi, "Why did we pass this bailout and the market doesn't show any signs of life?" His answer is below:
I want to remind people, the bailout – I said we needed a bailout because the credit markets are frozen. The credit markets affect you by getting loans to people who need to buy your house and loans to your company to make operating expenses like payroll... Now, you would expect after the bailout bill was passed, we'd see a more positive reaction. Buried in all of that stuff on Friday was a report that we'd lost 159,000 jobs bringing this year's total to 3/4 of a million. That's the single most important thing...
(But) scared to death doesn't help. The panic doesn't help. Don't bother being about that. Markets are tripping over themselves to get in and they always get in too late. Don't panic about this... We watched the market very closely in the last hour, particularly the last 15 minutes to see how things are going. The fact that the market is going up and down, on the down side, but it's moving, it's not consistent, tells me this isn't people bailing out of the market. There is a buyer for everybody trying to sell a stock today. A very serious market is when you’re trying to sell stocks and there are no buyers at any point. At this point, the market would have to be down 2,200 points to stop trading for the rest of the day. This is not as disorderly as it looks.
For those of you with 401(k)s, your loss will be very reflective of the loss on the S&P 500 and the Dow, 25 to 30%. You didn't make any bad decisions. Hold on and don't panic.
AC360 Associate Producer
I don’t know what’s more disturbing – the stock market plunge or that the number one movie for the weekend was something called “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”
All I know for sure is that I checked my 401k again this afternoon and instead of a dollar amount my balance is listed as “good for one free Big Mac.”
If things get any worse I’m going to have to log onto eBay and start auctioning office supplies that may-or-may-not have been used by Anderson Cooper.
Meantime, the presidential candidates are getting ready for their second in a series of three debates. Barack “Make sure to save some seats in the audience for my terrorist friends” Obama and John “I can’t wait to get my erratic finger on that nuke button” McCain will try to refrain from punching each other tomorrow night at Belmont University in Nashville.
Here’s hoping they get totally out-of-control and Tom Brokaw has to open up a can of whoop-ass.
The Obama campaign has shattered all fund-raising records, raking in $458 million so far, with about half the bounty coming from donors who contribute $200 or less. Aides say that's an illustration of a truly democratic campaign. To critics, though, it can be an invitation for fraud and illegal foreign cash because donors giving individual sums of $200 or less don't have to be publicly reported.
Consider the cases of Obama donors "Doodad Pro" of Nunda, N.Y., who gave $17,130, and "Good Will" of Austin, Texas, who gave more than $11,000—both in excess of the $2,300-per-person federal limit. In two recent letters to the Obama campaign, Federal Election Commission auditors flagged those (and other) donors and informed the campaign that the sums had to be returned. Neither name had ever been publicly reported because both individuals made online donations in $10 and $25 increments. "Good Will" listed his employer as "Loving" and his occupation as "You," while supplying as his address 1015 Norwood Park Boulevard, which is shared by the Austin nonprofit Goodwill Industries. Suzanha Burmeister, marketing director for Goodwill, said the group had "no clue" who the donor was. She added, however, that the group had received five puzzling thank-you letters from the Obama campaign this year, prompting it to send the campaign an e-mail in September pointing out the apparent fraudulent use of its name.
"Doodad Pro" listed no occupation or employer; the contributor's listed address is shared by Lloyd and Lynn's Liquor Store in Nunda. "I have never heard of such an individual," says Diane Beardsley, who works at the store and is the mother of one of the owners. "Nobody at this store has that much money to contribute." (She added that a Doodad's Boutique, located next door, had closed a year ago, before the donations were made.)
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said the campaign has no idea who the individuals are and has returned all the donations, using the credit-card numbers they gave to the campaign. (In a similar case earlier this year, the campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T shirts in bulk from the campaign's online store. They had listed their address as "Ga.," which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.)