U.S. stocks fell sharply Tuesday as worries about European debt and the U.S. economy intensified. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a quick 275 points to 10,965. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 29 points to 1,144. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 56 points to 2,423. Things keep going from bad to worse. Plenty of downgrades this morning as the first three days of September have been the worse in history. The financial sector was downgraded as they can't seem to catch a break. As mentioned on Friday a government division, the FHFA is suing 17 major banks for their mortgage practices. So the Federal government tells the banks to raise capital and then another division sues them for that money. As a result, the banks could easily pull back their lending causing a weak economy to get worse. Bank of America is down 5% leading the charge lower. BB&T and Deutsche Bank were both upgraded, but both are lower. In fact, Deutsche Bank is down 9%. The techs are weak this morning. Apple is only down a percent even though it was upgraded. AOL is down a percent even though it was upgraded saying their fair value is 100% above current levels. Fairchild Semi is actually up a percent even though they lowered guidance. Dell and Baidu.com announced a collaborative agreement. Sounds like good news, but both stocks are lower. The commodities are obviously weak even though Jefferies reiterated buys on a number of firms like Alcoa, Freeport McMoran, and Arch Coal. At 10 o'clock, a better than expected manufacturing number lifted the averages a little bit. But the rebound didn't last. Through the morning the averages moved back down with the Dow falling nearly 300 points only to rebound again into the lunch hour. A few, and I mean a very few, stocks are in the green. Research in Motion is now higher by a percent. Another tech, AOL is now in the green. Pfizer is the only Dow component in the green. One financial, Fifth Third is up 1.5% on an upgrade, impressive. In the afternoon the averages kept slowly improving. A few more stocks popped into the green. Apple turned around nicely now up 1% for the day. In the last hour the averages kept improving due in part to comments out of Washington regarding what the President will say Thursday night. Hopefully, he has a silver bullet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 100 points at 11,139. The S&P 500 ended down 8 points at 1,165. The Nasdaq Composite lost 6 points to 2,473.
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