Wall Street rally sputters

Stocks close down after zigzagging earlier, marking a continued decline on Wall Street that many are calling a bear market.

2 min read
Stocks on Wall Street fell today after zigzagging earlier, unable to shake off jitters over the Russian and Asian economic crisis.

The less than 1 percent decline in both the Dow Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq marked a continued decline on Wall Street that many are calling a bear market.

The Dow Industrial Average climbed as much as 78 points shortly after the opening bell today, encouraged by rebounding global markets and strong U.S. economic data. But the rally sputtered and stocks began to move tentatively back and forth because of mounting fears over the condition of the Asian and Russian economies.

At midday, the Dow was down more than 150 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down more than 23 points. By closing time, however, the Dow recovered some of the losses to end 41.97 points lower at 7640.25. The Nasdaq index was down 5.34 to 1566.52.

Internet stocks were mostly lower. An earlier exception was technology publisher CMP Media, which was up 8.24 percent after yesterday's 31 percent plunge that came on the heels of news warning of lower earnings expectations. But CMP also dropped later in the day, closing down .625 points at 10.

America Online, Lycos, and Yahoo all dropped as well.

The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent for August, with 365,000 new jobs created, the Labor Department reported today.

Most European stock markets were higher today with Germany's DAX up 2.2 percent to 4917.9. London's Financial Times Index was up 68 points to 5186.7. Russia's Moscow Times, however, was down 3.19 percent.

Asian markets closed mixed today, with Japan's Nikkei falling while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rising. The Nikkei fell 1.53 percent to 14042.91, pushed down on the news of Tao Steel's bankruptcy announcement yesterday--the largest Japanese corporate failure since World War II. The Hang Seng rose 2.32 percent to 7488.47.