Stocks closed lower following a zig-zag day marked by a plunge in oil and a barrage of statements and news from economic policy makers, and a resurgence for the beaten-down financial sector.
Oil prices fell harder than they have in 17 years on a dollar basis Tuesday, as fears that record fuel prices are spreading broad economic pain led to the third big sell-off in just over a week.
General Motors said Tuesday it would cut salaried employment costs by 20 percent, sell up to $4 billion of assets and borrow at least $2 billion in a bid to bolster its liquidity by $15 billion through 2009.
The two most significant financial stocks of the moment--Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both remaining down but are also well off their lows. Still, this is still a weak day, with three stocks declining for each advancing.
For the second time in five weeks, General Motors is making major cuts to give its business the breathing room it needs to hopefully turn things around. Unlike the last restructuring, five weeks ago, where GM cut truck plants and put HUMMER up for sale, these latest moves are about saving cash as soon as possible.
Stocks fell sharply after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued a dour forecast ahead for the US economy, saying more hard times are on their way that will pose a major challenge to policy makers.
Mr. Bernanke's job is to walk the fine line between acknowledging--and defending--the Fed's expanding role in the regulation of investment banking, and not appearing to be coddling excessive risk-takers.
The world's number one bearings maker, Swedish SKF, is speeding up plans to close down a factory in Kentucky, moving production to Mexico as the financial markets turmoil has hit hard the automotive industry, SKF CFO Tore Bertilsson told CNBC.com on Tuesday.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before a Senate committee takes on even greater importance for Tuesday's markets, now that the Fed and Treasury have promised to backstop mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Stocks finished lower, led by financials, as investors worried that the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might not be enough to prevent further turmoil in financial markets.
General Motors Chief Executive Rick Wagoner is set to announce further steps on Tuesday morning to cut costs in the face of slumping sales.
Volatility ruled the market Thursday because of oil prices, financial fears and an $18 billion acquisition. Following are the day's top five videos.
The Dow finished higher on Thursday propelled by optimism about a major deal in the chemicals sector and comments from Ben Bernanke. What's the "Word on the Street?"
The Dow chart looked like a yo-yo Thursday as traders pounded financials including Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers and oil prices surged more than $5 a barrel. Still, all three major indexes eked out gains by the closing bell.
GM will not consider selling or eliminating any brands besides Hummer and has no plans to declare bankruptcy, Richard Wagoner, General Motors chairman and CEO, said Thursday at the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.
The Dow chart looked like a yo-yo Thursday as traders pounded financials including Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers, overshadowing any positive news the market had to offer.
The message from General Motors chairman and CEO was clear and direct: The company has no plans to cut anymore of its brands. I asked Wagoner about cutting the brands when I caught up with him after a speech here in Dallas.
Stocks flipped and somersaulted Thursday as investors juggled worries about capital constraints at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a drop in jobless claims, merger activity and encouraging retail sales.
On Mad Money we pander to neither panic nor euphoria. On Tuesday, an up day, Jim urged everyone to get out of the financials. I can't emphasize how important it is that we go negative on up days, but history can. The 234 point rout yesterday afternoon is a pure example of what I'm talking about. We try not to be too down on down days, and emphasize extreme caution on up days because that's useful.
General Motors is developing plans to cut costs and improve its "cash and funding position," Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said in an e-mail to the automaker's managers and team leaders.