Facebook Twitter

Wall Street stabilizes in Tuesday morning trading

SHARE Wall Street stabilizes in Tuesday morning trading

NEW YORK — The stock market was mixed Tuesday morning in early trading as Wall Street tried to stabilize itself a day after fearful investors sent the Dow to its biggest one-day point loss.

After starting about 30 points higher higher, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 42.90 at 8,877.80 in the first half-hour of trading.

The broader market was mixed: The Nasdaq inched up 2.39 to 1,581.94, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 3.85 to 1,034.92.

On Monday, the first day of trading since the terrorist attacks, the Dow lost a record 684.81 points and fell below 9,000 for the first time in more than 2 1/2 years. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped more than 115 points to 1,579.55, also a 7 percent loss.

Analysts expect the market to be weak and vulnerable throughout the week. Investors now have more to be nervous about — namely, the prospect of war — than the weak economy, which had been dragging downg stocks for weeks.

Insurance and financial companies were among the losers in Tuesday morning trading. But airlines, which suffered double-digit dollar losses Monday, were up.

Investors had looked to Tuesday's session with apprehension, fearing further damage to the market.

"To buy stocks you need some kind of clarity and confidence, and right now you've got neither," said Bill Barker, investment consultant at Dain Rauscher in Dallas. "The buying public is sitting on its hands. The sellers are obviously in control now."

The market was closed for four days after the terror attacks, the long shutdown since the Depression.

On Monday, volume on the New York Stock Exchange was a record 2.33 billion shares, surpassing the previous mark of 2.13 billion on Jan. 4.

The Federal Reserve's decision to cut interest rates for the eighth time this year Monday was not enough to prevent Monday's sell-off.

Although the NYSE was not directly damaged, the surrounding neighborhood was littered with debris. A week after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, rescue workers continued to search for survivors amid smoldering rubble. The smell of smoke still hangs in the air — even permeating the NYSE trading floor.

The American Stock Exchange, forced out of its home because of damage, was operating out of a few posts clustered in one area of the NYSE.