The major indexes tumbled at the opening bell after markets worldwide fell for a second consecutive day over fears of a U.S. economic recession. The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate by three-quarters of a percentage, but the Dow immediately lost 400 points while Nasdaq dropped more than 100 points.
On the upside
Gainers were few and far in between with the UltraShort Proshare (AMEX: FXP) being one of the most conspicuous gainers.
MBIA (NYSE: MBI) stood to benefit from this morning's interest rate cut to help lower expenses. The loan insurer had also raised $1 billion in capital to shore up its balance sheet last week.
On the downside
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced the purchase of virtual desktop software company Calista Technologies and a partnership with Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS). Shares of rival VMware (NYSE: VMW) tumbled on the aggressive competitive move.
Shares of General Electric (NYSE: GE) fell after the conglomerate announced earnings that missed analysts' expectations.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) issued a disappointing 4th quarter report that included a 95% drop in profits due to credit losses and weak investment banking results. Shares were trading at their lowest levels since 2003.
In the broad market, declining issues swamped advancers by a margin of more than 20 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 12 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks tumbled 16 points to 656.