Wall Street suffers historic savaging

NEW YORK, October 15, 2008 (AFP) – Wall Street stocks plunged Wednesday in the second biggest single day point loss in history and their worst percentage fall in two decades, ravaged by fears the world’s biggest economy is slipping into recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 733.08 points (7.87 percent) to close at 8,577.91 in the worst one-day point loss since last month’s record 777-point decline and the steepest percentage drop since 1987.

In an even more brutal decline, the broad-market Standard & Poor’s index plunged 90.17 points (9.03 percent) to 907.84.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq sank 150.68 points (8.47 percent) to 1,628.33 in another violent session for stocks, despite massive rescue efforts for the ailing global banking sector.

“The stock market is buried by recession fears,” said Al Goldman at Wachovia Securities.

“Today’s culprit is the growing fear that the economic slump may turn into a more significant contraction as the credit squeeze of the past month begins to show up in the data,” analysts at Charles Schwab said in a market update note.

“Retail sales fell much more than expected, and a survey of manufacturing registered a steep drop. Economically sensitive companies are leading the broad-based