On Monday, the weekend's turmoil yields triple trouble.
Stocks fall sharply Monday on a triptych of Wall Street woe: Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy filing; Merrill Lynch's acquisition by Bank of America; and AIG's unprecedented request for short-term financing from the Federal Reserve.
The Dow's decline steepens dramatically from a 90-point drop at the outset, when only half of the index's stocks were open for trading, to a nearly 300-point decline when in full swing—and it'll get worse before the day is over. The S&P 500 falls 2.5 percent and the tech-centric Nasdaq loses some 2 percent.
What You Were Reading:
- Gartman: Goldman, Morgan Stanley Will Survive
- The Financial Crisis: CNBC.com Users Speak Out
- For Investors, Stock Selloff Brings Opportunities
The damage reports were dire.
"You're waking up to a materially smaller net worth than you had Friday afternoon, there's going to be margin clerk panic liquidation in the first hour or two of the stock markets here in the U.S.," says Dennis Gartman, founder of the Gartman Letter, tells CNBC. But he believes the Lehman collapse is unlikely to bring any more investment bank bankruptcies.
Ten giant banks agree to set up a collateralized borrowing facility, and commit to fund $7 billion each. The banks are Bank of America, Barclays , Citibank , Credit Suisse , Deutsche Bank , Goldman Sachs , JP Morgan Chase , Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley , and UBS .
Oppenheimer's Meredith Whitney predicts that the worst is likely to come: "What this does is to exacerbate the credit crunch because it pulls so much liquidity out of an already strapped market,” she tells CNBC.
Stocks end Monday in the worst selloff since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Major indexes break through their July lows: The Dow careens 504.48, or 4.4 percent, to close at 10917.51. (The last time the Dow lost more than 500 points in a single session was Sept. 17, 2001.) The S&P 500 tumbles 4.7 percent to close at 1192.96, while the Nasdaq loses 3.6 percent. The CBOE Volatility Index jumps above 30.
What the Experts Were Saying:
Wilbur Ross, chairman & CEO of WL Ross, believes there will be 1,000 U.S. bank failures before the end of the financial crisis.
Mad Money host Jim Cramer warns: Letting AIG collapse would be a "tragedy."
Meredith Whitney of Oppenheimer discusses the future of Wall Street with Maria Bartiromo.