NEW YORK, October 7, 2008 (AFP) – Stocks plunged for a second day running on Wall Street on Tuesday, while those in Europe were mixed, on persistent anxiety over the health of the banking sector — and despite central bank initiatives to shore up confidence.
Wall Street opened with solid gains, bolstering both spirits and prices in Europe after the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and EU finance ministers all announced new measures to stanch a credit crisis and protect savers’ deposits.
But the rebound was short-lived, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding 508.39 points, or 5.11 percent, to close at a five-year low of 9,447.11 — worse than its 369-point slide Monday.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq plummetted 108.08 points (5.80 percent) to 1,754.88 and the Standard and Poor’s 500 index slid 60.66 points (5.74 percent) to 996.23, dropping below a key level of 1,000 points and also hitting a five-year low.
Bank of America, the biggest US bank in market capitalization terms, slid 26 percent to 23.77 dollars after it unveiled plans to slash its dividend and raise 10 billion dollars by selling new shares, diluting the value for existing stock holders.
Citigroup fell 12.9 percent to 15.15 dollars and Wells Fargo skidded 9.04 p