Dow Industrials Sink Below the 10,000 Mark

The Dow falls along with the other major indices on Wall Street Monday following dismal stock performances in Asia and Europe.
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Updated from 9:38 a.m. EDT

A wave of investor nausea sent U.S. stocks reeling Monday, as it became apparent that the credit crisis had spread beyond America into Europe and Asia.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 380 points to 9945, breaking below 10,000 for the first time since October 2004. The

S&P 500

gave back 50 points to 1049. The

Nasdaq

dropped 100 points to 1847.

In a sign of a

global financial crunch

, leaders from France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. met Saturday and agreed to coordinate efforts to prevent failures in Europe's financial system.

A scramble ensued to help troubled institutions. Germany rescued lending company

Hypo Real Estate

, and France's

BNP Paribas

said it would take over Benelux bank

Fortis NV

. Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced that Germany would guarantee all of its private bank deposits. On Monday, Denmark followed suit.

Back in the U.S.,

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.

On Monday, analysts at both Keefe Bruyette and Friedman Billings upgraded Wells Fargo to market perform from underperform.

Meanwhile,

The Wall Street Journal

said that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson would appoint adviser

Neel Kashkari

to supervise the $700 billion bailout program for the financial system. Paulson's proposal passed the House of Representatives and was signed by President Bush on Friday.

"What's different today is the bailout package came and went, and it's not going to solve the problem," said Bill Fleckenstein, hedge fund manager at Fleckenstein Capital Management. He said the selloff into the close Friday indicated that stocks are trending lower. "If we wind up having a crash the next couple days I wouldn't be surprised. That's what the tipoff from Friday was," he said.

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.

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."

On the home-loan front,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

announced it would modify about 400,000 mortgages to help borrowers who had taken out loans from

Countrywide Financial

, which BofA acquired on July 1.

Insurance company

Hartford Financial

(HIG) - Get Report

said it garnered a $2.5 billion investment from

Allianz

, is reducing its dividend and will register a third-quarter loss.

Outside the financials,

Reuters

reported that

ImClone

(IMCL)

agreed to a merger with

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report

.

Among technology stocks,

online auctioneer eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

said it would be cutting its staff by 10% and would buy online payment processor Bill Me Later.

In the commodities space, the price of crude oil was down $3.53 to $90.35 a barrel, and gold was climbing $42.10 to $875.30 an ounce.

Longer-term U.S. Treasury securities were climbing in price. The 10-year was up 22/32 to yield 3.52%, and the 30-year was climbing 1-20/32, yielding 4%.

Overseas markets were broadly falling. The FTSE in London and the Dax in Frankfurt were each down more than 5.8%.

Asian exchanges

, including Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, closed on the downside.