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Moody's Knocks Stocks to Lows, Rubin Picks Them Up

For thrill seekers, Wall Street didn't disappoint today.

In the final hour, U.S. stocks swooned as bourses in Latin Americatumbled. The Latin American sell off was triggered by news that

Moody'sInvestors Service

downgraded Brazil's foreign currency debt rating toB2 from B1. However, the crushing losses in the U.S. were short-livedas stocks roared off their lows, apparently thanks to comments from Treasury Secretary

Robert Rubin

. Despite that rally off the bottom, themajor U.S. stock indices ended the session sharply lower.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

ended down 100.15 to 7682.22;the

S&P 500

lost 8.21 to 982.26; the

Nasdaq Composite Index

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shed 20.99 to 1571.86; and the small-cap

Russell 2000

dropped 6.36 to346.29.

Rubin reiterated a frequent refrain, saying the U.S. economy continues on a path of solid growth and low inflation.

Shortly before 3:30 p.m. EDT the Dow plunged to its session low, falling 203.91 to 7578.46 before recovering.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, volume reached 878.9 million shares, while

Nasdaq Stock Market

volume totaled 756.5 million shares.

On the NYSE, decliners beat advancers 2,089 to 995. On the Nasdaq, losers beat winners 2,864 to 1,449. On the NYSE, 433 issues hit new lows while 9 issues made new highs. On the Nasdaq, 565 issues hit new lows while 7 issues reached new highs.

In the U.S. government debt arena, the 30-year Treasury bond rose 17/32 to 102 30/32, the yield easing to 5.30%.