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Market Drops On Fed Minutes

The Dow has dropped 450 points in the last two days. Most of this is due to the record high price of oil, but at 2 PM ET today the markets dropped further as the Fed came out with its minutes, wherein they:

--Ratcheted down the growth outlook

--Ratcheted up their outlook for inflation and unemployment

--Said further rate cuts were unlikely

The overall market dropped on that news. The immediate effect was that buying spiked up--the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) had its biggest one day move since March.

Home builders dropped to their lowest levels since March, with stocks like Ryland down 9 percent, Centex and Lennardown 7 percent.

Not quite as bad for the brokers, but most of them are also at the lowest levels in a month; Lehman down 5 percent, Morgan Stanley down 4 percent.

Perhaps of greater concern is banks, where the Bank Index (BKX) is again approaching multi-year lows. Bank of America hit a 5-year closing low. Citi down 4.7 percent, Wachovia down 3.7 percent, JP Morgan down 3 percent.

Finally, airlines were a complete disaster, with AMR dropping 24 percent as it announced it was cutting is flight schedule, cutting jobs, and will begin charging $15 to check in a bag ($25 for subsequent bags).

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