Markets in Red: Wall Street sinks to 1997 levels

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Markets in Red: Wall Street sinks to 1997 levels
New York, Feb 24: Wall Street plunged to their lowest close in nearly 12 years on Monday, Feb 23 with Dow Jones average and the S&P 500 index plummeting which is a disappointment for the investors with the latest plan from Washington to gear up the ailing US banking system.

Big technology companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Apple declined sharply Monday, Feb 23 on worries about a fall-off in business and consumer spending on technology hurt the tech sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 250.89 points (3.41 per cent) to 7,114.78, crashing below its November bear market low and hitting its lowest close since May 1997.

Bank stocks rallied Monday as reports said that Citigroup Inc. is in talks with federal officials that may increase the government's ownership of the bank.

While the discussions could fall apart, the government could wind up holding as much as 40 percent of Citigroup's common stock. Bank executives hope the stake will be closer to 25 percent.

The broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 26.72 points (3.47 per cent) to 743.33, its lowest finish since April 1997. The Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Reserve jointly
issued the statement Monday saying they will launch a revamped program to inject fresh capital into financial institutions this week.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite slid 53.51 points (3.71 per cent) to 1,387.72, its lowest level since November 2008.

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