Ted Weisberg, floor trader with Seaport Securities, was less dire. "Like getting a cold or whatever it happens to be ... sometimes you just have to let things run their course," he said. Fear has gotten a hold of the market and emotion is driving the market, he said.
Stocks eventually will be oversold if they haven't reached that level already, said Weisberg. "Unfortunately, they don't ring a bell and tell us when we're going up," he said. "Market conditions like this create more opportunities than you can shake a stick at. You just have to have a little patience."
"We better bottom today or tomorrow, or we're into a crash," said Jeff Saut, managing director at Raymond James. Saut said the market is facing a crisis of confidence right now, and that passage of the original Paulson plan, without sweeteners, would have instilled optimism into the markets. As it is, he said, the market has lost confidence in financial institutions, the broader economy, and now the government's ability to intervene. "Odds are near 100% we're going into a recession now," he said.
"I'm getting calls from brokers who are getting calls from the public, who's saying sell everything," said Saut. However, when the market experiences the kind of negativity seen today, it's typically near a low, he said.In the private sector, Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) said it intended to go ahead with its purchase of Wachovia (WB - Get Report). Wells Fargo said an appeals court vacated a ruling that extended an exclusivity agreement between Citigroup (C - Get Report) and Wachovia. Later during the session, Citi announced a $60 billion lawsuit against Wells Fargo.