Stocks down, but not out

UPDATE 9/15/08 11:05 a.m.: NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock prices are lower as investors react to the dramatic news of the bankruptcy for Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch.

The Dow has pared its losses. It had been down more than 300 points. The early declines for the major averages were not as steep as some had feared.

The key averages were more recently down between 1 to 2 percent.

Markets across the globe saw steep declines before the opening bell.

The quick-moving developments are the biggest yet in the 14-month-old credit crisis and come just a week after the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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UPDATE WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush confident the economy is strong enough to adjust to 'adjustments' in financial markets.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock prices opened sharply lower in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average started down 321 points in Monday's early going.

The Nasdaq Composite Index is off 52 points and the Standard-and-Poor's 500 Stock Index is down 36 points.

Well before the opening bell, this was shaping up to be a critical moment for Wall Street. The 158-year-old investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The firm's last hope of surviving without bankruptcy faded yesterday after British bank Barclays withdrew its bid to buy the investment bank.

Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch in a 50-billion dollar deal that would create a bank offering everything from fixed-income trading to credit-card lending. It would rival Citigroup, the biggest U.S. bank in terms of assets.

The deal values Merrill at 29 dollars a share. That's a 70 percent premium over Friday's close.

Oil prices, meanwhile, have plunged to a seven-month low. That's in reaction to indications that oil installations along the Gulf Coast emerged relatively unharmed after Hurricane Ike. Light, sweet crude for November delivery was recently trading below $96 a barrel.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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