Wall Street fluctuated today, sliding lower in the last 15 minutes of trading, as investors' enthusiasm over the Federal Reserve's rate...
NEW YORK — Wall Street fluctuated today, sliding lower in the last 15 minutes of trading, as investors’ enthusiasm over the Federal Reserve’s rate cut was dampened by downbeat corporate news.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 99.80, or 1.1 percent, at 8,824,34. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 8.76, or 1 percent, at 904.42, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 10.58, or 0.7 percent, at 1,589.87.
Stocks declined after a larger-than-expected loss from Morgan Stanley offered fresh evidence of the sizable obstacles the battered financial industry still faces. The company posted a loss of $2.37 billion, or $2.34 a share, for the fiscal fourth quarter. The report came a day after rival Goldman Sachs Group posted its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999.
Some selling had been expected after Tuesday’s huge rally in which the Dow industrials rose more than 4 percent and other indexes gained more than 5 percent. The moves came after the central bank lowered its federal funds rate target to a range of zero to 0.25 percent — the lowest levels on record.
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After briefly moving into positive territory, stocks fluctuated in midafternoon trading as investors tried to look past concerns about the financial sector and let the magnitude of the Fed’s actions begin to sink in.
“This is a whole lot of new information for people to digest,” said David Waddell, senior investment strategist and chief executive of Waddell & Associates. “Now we need time to sit back … and figure out what it all means.”