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Stocks Fall To Lowest Level Since Aug 2003

STOCKS FALL TO LOWEST SINCE AUG. 2003.

Panic selling swept global equity markets again on Wednesday and dragged the Dow lower after a coordinated worldwide cut in interest rates failed to quell fears of a global recession.

It was a session of wild swings, with no clear direction determined until the final minutes. Wall Street's favorite measure of investor fear, the Volatility Index , hit a record intraday high.

It’s worth noting during the middle of the trading day investors became more interested in dealing with risk, although that sentiment didn’t stick, explains Dylan Ratigan. The fact of the matter is there were some aspects of credit on Wednesday that got a little less expensive.

I congratulate the way Paulson, Bernanke and the world came together and orchestrated this cut, adds Pete Najarian.

I expect to see a monster rally soon, adds Guy Adami. Don’t discount the government intervention. It takes time to work.

The rules are changing constantly, comments Jeff Macke. And it makes it impossible to prices assets.

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BANKS FINISH LOWER IN WILD SESSION

With financial markets awash with signs that credit is expensive and hard to come by, investors sold off banking shares on both sides of the Atlantic. Domestically, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley led the sector lower.

Meanwhile, the short selling ban is set to expire at 12am. Hedge fund manager William Ackman said on Monday that global regulators rattled investor confidence by briefly banning investors' bearish bets on stocks, and that psychology, not fundamentals, is moving markets.

I think the Fed is setting up an environment where good banks will do better, says Guy Adami. I know the market sold-off at the end of the day but I’m starting to feel encouraged.


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TOPPING THE TAPE: TARGET

Despite posting a bigger-than-expected decline Target bucked the tape and closed higher Wednesday. Meanwhile rival Wal-Mart ended in the red on profit taking after it said same-store sales rose in line with its forecast.

The numbers out of Target were terrible, muses Guy Adami, but it closed higher. It's just too cheap at current levels. I think we’re starting to see big volume capitulation. Same is true for Burlington Northern . It closed higher because it’s so low it can’t sustain being at such a low level.

Toyota missed by 40% and I think they’re going lower, adds Macke. But I coverd my short position because it got too cheap too fast

I bought Diageo on Wednesday, adds Karen Finerman.



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OPTIONS ACTION: SMALL CAPS

Pete Najarian has spotted unusual options action in the iShares Russell 2000 Index .

I bought puts in the Russell on Wednesday, adds Najarian. The volume of puts traded on Wednesday suggests there’s more downside before expiration.

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AIG'S SPENDING SPREE

The White House said on Wednesday it was "despicable" that American International Group Inc. executives spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a posh California retreat just days after getting a federal bailout.

AIG sent its executives to the coastal St. Regis resort south of Los Angeles even as the company tapped into an $85 billion loan from the government that it needed to stave off bankruptcy. The resort tab included $23,380 worth of spa treatments for AIG employees, according to invoices the resort turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Corporate Retreat Bill

* $200,000 Rooms at St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach
* $150,000 Catered Banquets
* $23,380: Spa Treatments
* $7,000 Golf
* $1,400 Hotel Salon

* $500,000 (approx.) TOTAL

What else is there to say?




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Trader disclosure: On Oct.8, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (MSFT), (WMT), (BNI), (MCD): Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Najarian Owns (AAPL) And (AAPL) Puts; Najarian Owns (FCX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (GS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (MS), Owns (MS) Puts, Is Short (MS) Calls; Najarian Owns (NOK) And Is Short (NOK) Calls; Najarian Owns (RIMM) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (WB) Calls; Najarian Owns (XLF) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (IWM) Puts; Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (NOK), (DEO), (PM), (MO); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (COF), (BBT), (USO)

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