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Closing Bell 09.20.07

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Sponsored by the Financial Times.
Not surprisingly, the Fed-inspired frenzy that followed Tuesday's rate cut announcement ground to a halt today. Stocks slumped, oil climbed and the dollar tried to convert to the peso.
Every major index declined. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 54.30 points to land at 13761.26. The S&P 500 declined 8.88 to 1520.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 12.46 to 2654.02.
Goldman Sachs' earnings were so spectacular they immediately launched Wall Street into a fit of envy, snark and conspiracy theories. The difference in performance between Goldman's premiere hedge funds for clients and its internal proprietary trading provided grit for the snarkiest to chime in that the message of the day was that you should buy Goldman's stock but not its client hedge funds. The conspiracy minded wondered whether Goldman was keeping its best traders for its internal desks, or perhaps engaging in something even more nefarious. There's no evidence for any of this of course. But it's not exactly the kind of talk you want going around the day you report stellar earnings.
After Lehman Brothers seemed to have surprisingly escaped the wrath of the mortgage market relatively intact, some began to wonder if Bear Stearns might have engaged in some clever move to avoid the brunt of the credit crunch. While it didn't quite escape catastrophe, it seems to have convinced many that the worst days of losses, particular from hedge-fund losses and bailouts, are behind it. The stock actually climbed a bit today.
On the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, 941 stocks rose and 2,357 declined. Volume was light, with just 967.8 million shares trading on the exchange.
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