Volatile Stock Market Still Shaky But Closes With Spike
The three main indexes had been buoyant throughout most of the day, led by financial shares, as the market showed signs of recovery from the worst sell-off on Wall Street in more than two years.
But stocks gyrated wildly in the half-hour after the announcement, first shedding their gains, then plunging sharply before recovering their losses. Shortly before 3 p.m., the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was up 0.2 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average was down by about the same percentage.
But the time of closing, the market spiked and the Dow ended the day up more than 400 points, more than 3 percent.
Today's wild trading came after the Dow plunged more than 500 points last Thursday and another 600 points on Monday. On Friday the Standard and Poor's rating house downgraded U.S. credit worthiness for the first time in history.
The downgrade, combined with economic turmoil in Europe, contributed to an atmosphere of near panic among investors.
There was some expectation today that the Fed would have responded with some specific guidance or measures on how to proceed through the current crisis. The vagueness of today's announcement by the Fed contributed to further uncertainty and prolonged the global guessing game as to where the markets are ultimately headed.