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The Beating Continues on Wall Street

Stocks in this article: AIG MS C

Speaking in Washington, President Bush said the administration has taken significant steps to provide liquidity to the markets and that Americans should be confident about the U.S. economy's future. Bush also said that over time, steps already taken by the government would gain traction.

Financial stocks were at the forefront of investor skepticism thanks to nearly dry credit markets.

Battered firms Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report) and Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) were again in focus. Ratings agency Moody's said it may cut Morgan Stanley's credit rating, and lowered its credit outlook for Goldman to negative. Both stocks were posting sizeable double-digit losses.

Following a heated battle with Citigroup (C - Get Report), Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) appeared set to buy Wachovia (WB) unencumbered.

Citigroup said it will continue to pursue $60 billion in damages for breach of contract but would not try to overturn a merger between Wells Fargo and Wachovia. Citi had announced a Wachovia acquisition on Sept. 29, only to trumped days later by a new bid from Wells.

The Journal also reported that insurance firm AIG (AIG - Get Report) took out an additional $9 billion in government loans, bringing its total borrowing from the U.S. in the past three weeks to $70.3 billion. The company continues to attempt to sell its assets in a struggle to stay afloat.

The paper also said the U.S. exchanges are considering a temporary plan that would halt short-selling in any stock that had a drop of 20% in a single session. If that occurs, in many cases shorting would be banned in the stock for three days, the paper reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

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